Saturday, May 30, 2020
     
"An investment in Knowledge pays the best Interest."

Ben Franklin's words still ring true today. So we pick out the most appropriate articles in current events and news regarding the Water Industry both nationally and in Kansas to filter the most pertinent information for you.

KRWA E-News: May 18, 2020

05/18/2020 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Pool Shutdowns Among Cost-Saving Proposals to Ease COVID-19 Economic Impact
Gov. Laura Kelly’s last week revised her plan to re-open the state, requiring public swimming pools to remain closed for the time being. Before that announcement, however, many communities across the state were already debating whether to open pools at all this summer. Realistically, most pools would likely not be ready to open until sometime in June, in part due to the need to train lifeguards. There’s no evidence the novel coronavirus spreads through water in pools, hot tubs, spas and water playgrounds, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because water disinfectants like chlorine and bromine should inactivate it. But concerns remain about how to manage capacity in a safe and equitable way, sanitize facilities and protect staff. Wichita has proposed keeping pools closed, citing a short season and cost savings. “The cost per day to operate the entire pool system is $6,667 for 60 days potentially of swimming,” Park Board member Ty Tabing said during a meeting last week. “You know, in this climate that seems maybe beyond our reach.” Valley Center city council members earlier this month voted to keep its municipal pool closed for the summer. [source

 

National Water Associations Petition Congress for Relief from Revenue Declines
NRWA last week joined 13 other national water organizations in urging Congress to provide federal assistance to help mitigate lost revenues to drinking water and wastewater systems. The joint letter to Congress states, “The nation’s water sector jointly requests that the next COVID-19 relief bill address the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on drinking water systems, clean water systems, and water recycling systems.” The HEROES Act, passed last week by the U.S. House of Representatives, pledges $1 trillion to state and local governments facing revenue shortfalls, but the bill is unlikely to be approved by the U.S. Senate. [source]
 

Corps of Engineers Announce Phased Re-Opening of Campgrounds
The USACE Kansas City District last week announced a planned, phased reopening of campsites and recreation areas that have been closed due to COVID-19, to begin immediately. A complete list of Kansas City District recreation area status updates can be found online. The USACE has also suspended the collection of day use fees until Oct. 1, 2020. [source

 

Kansas College’s Program Creates Opportunity to Preserve Aquifer
NWKTC’s Precision Ag program's Water Technology Farms project.An innovative program from Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, is equipping graduates with technology and instruction on how to not only reduce the mining of the water from the Ogallala Aquifer but also make sure each drop of water is used to best purpose. [source]

 

Kansas Rural Center Provides COVID-19 Resources
KRC curates a webpage, updated daily, with an extensive list of COVID -19 guidance, resources, and FAQ’s specifically for farmers, ranchers, food businesses, and communities responding to the pandemic. KRC's webpage covers everything from addressing how the shelter in place orders affect mobility and markets for farmers, grants and loans available to farms and small businesses, and how to purchase locally grown food from farmers. [source]

 

2000-2010 Drought in Upper Missouri River Basin Driest in 1,200 Years
A large team of researchers affiliated with multiple institutions across the U.S. and one in Canada has found that the 2000-2010 turn of the century drought in the Upper Missouri River Basin was the driest in the past 1,200 years. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their analysis of data from the PAGES 2k project and what it showed them. The researchers theorize that the main driver of the drought was higher than normal temperatures that have been influencing streamflow by reducing runoff efficiency since at least the latter part of the 20th century. They further note that higher average temperatures have also led to higher evapo-transpiration in the river basin. They close their paper by issuing a warning for the future — they expect increasingly severe droughts and water deficits in the region in the coming years.  [source]

 

Hutchinson City Manager Leaves on High Note Despite Difficult Times
After a 40-year career in municipal government, John Deardoff has retired as Hutchinson City Manager. One of the biggest challenges of the job of a city manager, Deardoff said, is that your bosses are elected and some change with each election. “You get new council members you start to work with,” he said. “When you’re really connecting and things are going well, you have an election and new people come on. That’s one of the biggest challenges to me. Every two years you’ve got to learn to adjust your governing style, adjust your thinking to a new governing body. I’ve been fortunate to not see a lot of change over the years, but it’s always challenging.” [source]

 

Weather Network Helps Keep You Informed
The Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network is a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers of all ages and backgrounds working together to measure and map precipitation (rain, hail, and snow). By using low-cost measurement tools, stressing training and education, and utilizing an interactive website, the aim is to provide the highest quality data for natural resource, education, and research applications. CoCoRaHS data are used by a wide variety of organizations and individuals. The National Weather Service, other meteorologists, hydrologists, emergency managers, city utilities, insurance adjusters, USDA, engineers, mosquito control, ranchers and farmers, outdoor & recreation interests, teachers, students, and neighbors in the community are just some examples of those who visit the website and use the data. One of the neat things about participating in this network is coming away with a feeling that you have made an important contribution that helps others. By providing your daily observation, you help to fill in a piece of the weather puzzle that affects many across your area in one way or another. [more]

 

Drought Monitor
May 15 rainfall map from the NWS.Two rounds of heavy rain impacted the Flint Hills into southeast Kansas on Friday May 15th. The National Weather Service reports that three to five inches of rainfall was reported with much of that falling in a fairly short amount of time. A few water rescues were reported along with numerous road closures. Heavy rain also sent many rivers across the Flint Hills and southeast Kansas into flood stage. At least one tornado roughly five miles northeast of Americus brought an abrupt end to an otherwise tame severe weather season. Further west, however, drought continues to intensify quickly. Severe drought is now extant throughout the region, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, and extreme drought envelops much of southern Colorado and adjacent southwestern Kansas.
Kansas portion of the U.S. Drought Monitor, released May 14, 2020.
Current U.S. Drought Monitor maps for:
Arkansas River Basin, High Plains Region, North-Central RegionSouthern Plains Region and State of Kansas