Weekly News - Aug. 6, 2018
08/06/2018 - Weekly KRWA E-News
Kansas and Colorado Reach Agreement on Republican River Water Usage
The Governors and Attorneys General of Kansas and Colorado last week announced that they have reached a settlement of claims regarding Colorado’s compliance of the Republican River Compact. The 1943 compact allocates the waters of the basins between the states of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas. Colorado has agreed to pay Kansas $2 million in the settlement. Colorado also agreed to pursue an effort to spend an additional $2 million in the basin, within Colorado, toward compact compliance. The states also resolved to forgo new damage claims for any water accounting period ending on or prior to Dec. 31, 2013. Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer and Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt both expressed their approval of the agreement, which resolves the existing controversies between the two states and allows them to continue to work collaboratively as part of an overall ongoing effort which also involves the state of Nebraska. “The Kansas (DWR) water team at the Department of Agriculture and our legal team at the Attorney General’s office have done an outstanding job of resolving years of past disputes without litigation,” Schmidt said.
Kansas Reservoir Protection Initiative Announced
Governor Jeff Colyer has also announced an initiative to enhance sediment reduction efforts above four federal reservoirs including Fall River, Kanopolis, John Redmond and Tuttle Creek. These reservoirs have lost 35, 39, 40 and 46 percent of their water supply storage, respectively. Lands located in targeted sub-watersheds in Butler, Coffey, Ellsworth, Greenwood, Lyon, Marshall, Nemaha and Washington Counties are eligible for assistance. Under this Initiative, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Water Office and the Kansas, Neosho, Smoky Hill-Saline and Verdigris Regional Advisory Committees are collaborating to prioritize projects that will yield the greatest sediment reduction per dollar invested.
USDA Encourages Rural Communities, Water Districts to Apply for Loans to Improve, Rebuild Infrastructure; $4 Billion Available
Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett has announced a historic commitment by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to upgrade and rebuild rural water infrastructure. “USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities in building their futures,” Hazlett said. “All people—regardless of their zip code—need modern, reliable infrastructure to thrive and we have found that when we address this need, many other challenges in rural places become much more manageable.” USDA is providing funding through the Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant program. It can be used to finance drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents. KRWA employee Rita Clary's experience with the loan application process can help your system secure the funding necessary for a water improvement project.
Which Water Is Best For Health? Hint: Don't Discount The Tap
As it turns out, scientists say that most tap water in the U.S. is just as good as the water in bottles or streaming out of a filter. "Assuming that the [tap] water satisfies all health and safety codes for the community, yeah, it's perfectly fine," says Dan Heil, a professor of health and human performance at Montana State University. "Tap water has, I think, become underrated as a source of healthy water," says Heil. Not to mention that it's basically free and creates less waste than the alternatives.
Poultry Farming Growth Hits Northeast Oklahoma Water Supply
With concerns about water shortages, water quality, air quality and health, residents of several rural northeast Oklahoma communities are organizing to address issues they have with new and expanding poultry farm operations. The increase in chicken house numbers in the tri-state area comes with the planned construction of an upgraded poultry processing facility near Decatur, Arkansas. Residents are frustrated by poultry houses “springing up” and said a permitting process with public notification is needed, along with setbacks from sensitive streams, homes and community buildings. Declining groundwater levels are also a major concern for residents who claim that poultry operations have dried up their household wells. “I have to drive 10 miles to do laundry at a laundromat now instead of doing it in my own home,” said one resident.
Drought Spurs Extreme Measures to Protect West’s Wild Horses
Harsh drought conditions in parts of the American West are pushing wild horses to the brink and forcing extreme measures to protect them.Harsh drought conditions in parts of the American West are pushing wild horses to the brink and spurring extreme measures to protect them. For what they say is the first time, volunteer groups in Arizona and Colorado are hauling thousands of gallons of water and truckloads of food to remote grazing grounds where springs have run dry and vegetation has disappeared. Federal land managers also have begun emergency roundups in desert areas of Utah and Nevada. "We've never seen it like this," said Simone Netherlands, president of the Arizona-based Salt River Wild Horse Management Group. In May, dozens of horses were found dead on the edge of a dried-up watering hole in northeastern Arizona. The federal Bureau of Land Management says overpopulation of wild horses and extreme drought conditions - present across much of the high plains into the western half of the country - is putting a strain on pasture land and water in those areas.
California Bottled Water Company Prosecuted for Illegally Dumped Toxic Waste
A 16-count indictment in Los Angeles federal court alleges that Palo Alto bottler Crystal Geyser illegally disposed of arsenic-tainted wastewater. Also named are two companies that transported and dumped the toxic waste. Prosecutors say the companies failed to disclose the contents on shipping manifests and it was taken to a facility not permitted to treat hazardous waste. If convicted of all counts, each company faces fines up to $8 million.
Large Aquifer Detected on Mars
The European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft, has been orbiting the fourth rock from the sun since 2003. Riding on board is an instrument called MARSIS, which uses radar pulses to see into the Martian subsurface. It works by sending low-frequency radio waves into the planet, which burrow beneath the ground until they bounce off geologic structures and boundaries. By studying how those waves are reflected back to the spacecraft, scientists can infer what might lie beneath. Radar scans of the red planet suggest that a stable reservoir of salty, liquid water measuring some 12 miles across lies nearly a mile beneath the planet’s south pole. What’s more, the underground lake is not likely to be alone. If confirmed, the buried pocket of water could answer a few questions about where Mars’s ancient oceans went, as well as provide a resource for future human settlements. Even more thrilling for astrobiologists, such a feature may be an ideal habitat for extraterrestrial life-forms.
Will Beer Names Bring the Wrong Kind of Attention to Indiana Brewery?
The owners of Lakeville Brew Crew in Lakeview, Indiana, received strong backlash to some of the names of their upcoming beers, ‘Flint Michigan Tap Water’ among them. The owners apologized for their “poor judgment.” But, according to Duncan, at least people will be talking about current issues. “The way I look at it — with the “Flint Michigan Tap Water” — if you’re going to get mad about that beer name, you should focus your anger more toward the people that are letting that happen to Flint,” he said. “If I can bring some attention to that, whether it be negative attention toward me, it still brings attention to that issue.” Marketing professionals, however, are skeptical about whether breweries should start such discussions and point out that there is a fine line between what can be perceived as an honorable cause and what comes off as a marketing ploy.
KRWA Training Calendar
Aug. 8: Manhattan
Water and Wastewater Workshop - Pipe Fusion and Fittings
Aug.16: Tonganoxie (This session is filled.)
Installation of Tracer Wire in Water and Wastewater Systems
Aug. 21: Mayetta
Meter Technologies and Testing, Storage Tank Maintenance
Aug. 22: Great Bend
Meter Technologies and Testing
Aug. 29: Phillipsburg
Competent Person For Trenching and Excavation
Aug. 30: Phillipsburg
Confined Space Entry
Despite some fairly significant rainfall totals in Kansas early last week, long-term drought was hardly affected, as depicted on the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. There continued to be slight improvements in southwest Kansas where short term indicators have rebounded. According to the National Weather Service, July 2018 was the second wettest July on record at Garden City, with a total of 9.13 inches for the month. Normal precipitation for July in Garden City is 2.6 inches. Meanwhile, the drought depiction for portions of eastern Kansas continued to worsen and expand. NWS reports that Topeka experienced the driest July since 1940. The city recorded just 0.49 of an inch of precipitation, its fifth-lowest total for July since NWS began keeping records for Topeka in 1887. Topeka city manager Brent Trout stated at a news conference last week that dry weather conditions have caused the ground to shift, increasing the risk of breaking underground water mains. There have been 129 water main breaks during the first 29 days of July, and 437 so far this year, compared to 208 during the same time period last year. In Lawrence, 2.52 inches were recorded during July, of which 2 inches were from an isolated storm that didn’t produce any rainfall in south Lawrence or much of Douglas County. Despite the lack of rainfall, the water level at Clinton Lake is near normal, said Samantha Jones, Army Corps of Engineers natural resource director for Clinton Lake. USDA and KDA have announced technical and financial assistance primarily to livestock producers in Kansas suffering from ongoing drought conditions. Unfortunately, chances for significant rainfall appear to be fairly low during this week, and thereafter so it is likely that the drought will worsen as hot weather returns.
Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central Region and Southern Plains Region