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Sunday, March 26, 2023
"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.

E-News, Feb. 20, 2023

02/20/2023 - Weekly KRWA E-News

Kansas House Water Committee Advances Bills to Conserve Water, Fund State Water Plan

Members of a Kansas House committee on Thursday passed legislation meant to push officials in western Kansas to come up with ideas to conserve water in the disappearing Ogallala Aquifer. The legislation — along with a bill dedicating sales tax revenue to fund water projects — passed the House Water Committee on a voice vote with little opposition. It now moves to the full Kansas House of Representatives for consideration. Both bills represent a leap forward for the committee, which began studying water issues in Kansas and suggesting possible solutions to the near-crisis state of the Ogallala two years ago. “We think we have a very good start on this issue,” said Rep. Jim Minnix, R-Scott City, chairman of the House Water Committee. One of the bills, sponsored by Rep. Lindsay Vaughn, D-Overland Park, the ranking minority member of the committee, would require GMDs report more information on their finances and conservation efforts to the state. They would also have to identify priority areas of their territories and submit plans to the state to conserve groundwater. The other bill, sponsored by Minnix, carves off 1.231% of sales tax revenue to fund the state’s water plan. In the next fiscal year, that amounts to a projected $54.1 million. Minnix’s bill also creates other transfers to fund water projects. That bill also received wide support. Rep. Cyndi Howerton, R-Wichita, said the state had shorted water projects to the tune of $84.5 million since 1991. Several members said the funding bill was a historic step forward for solving Kansas’ water issues. Rep. Doug Blex, R-Independence, called the legislation “a legacy for all of us, I am really proud to be a part of the milestone that this committee has done here.” [SOURCE]

Kansas AG Joins Lawsuit Against New Federal Jurisdiction over Water Bodies
Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach says he has joined a coalition of more than 20 states to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency which asks a federal court to vacate the newly published final rule to redefine the Waters of the Unites and deem it illegal. “The time has come for the federal government to stop its unconstitutional attempts to regulate every dry ditch and farm pond in Kansas,” Kobach said. “This lawsuit is about the original meaning of the Constitution, and we are going to hold the Biden administration to it.” AG Kobach indicated that the new final rule redefines the geographic reach of the EPA’s and Army Corps of Engineers’ authority to regulate streams, wetlands and other bodies of water under the Clean Water Act. Most notably, Kobach said the new rule redefines navigable waters to include ponds, certain streams, ditches and other bodies of water. He said the flawed and unlawful rule will affect farmers who may need to be granted permission to fill or dredge wetlands or waterways depending on whether they fall under the government’s purview. Developers, miners and other property owners who wish to make use of their land will also face implications. The lawsuit indicated that “if the final rule is left in place, then ranchers, farmers, miners, homebuilders and other landowners across the country will struggle to undertake even the simplest of activities on their own property without fear of drawing the ire of the federal government.” “The time has come for the federal government to stop its unconstitutional attempts to regulate every dry ditch and farm pond in Kansas,” Kobach said. “This lawsuit is about the original meaning of the Constitution, and we are going to hold the Biden administration to it.” [SOURCE]
Cincinnati, NKY Utilities Shut Ohio River Water Intake After East Palestine Train Derailment
Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati utilities shut off Ohio River intake early Sunday as water containing low levels of chemicals from an East Palestine train derailment flow towards the region. Cincinnati officials are urging for calm. They said water was shut off as a precautionary measure before the flow gets to the region, and chemicals related to the derailment at the local intake site have been nearly non-detectable or at very low levels. Concerns of chemicals in the river stem from a Feb. 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine where tanker cars carrying hazardous chemicals caught fire and ruptured. That prompted worries in Cincinnati, as remnants from the spill were expected to arrive in the area early Sunday morning. Water far upstream tested positive for low levels of butyl acrylate, as much as 4 parts per billion, the release states. In a news release issued late Sunday afternoon, Greater Cincinnati Water Works said a compound called 2-Ethyl-1-hexanol was detected in a sampling upstream of the local water intake. There is no detectable concentration of this compound at the intake, the release states. [SOURCE]
Pumping Mississippi River Water Won't Save the West
While we’re having a pretty good snow year so far, the long-term water prospects in the West are still really grim. Pumping water from the Mississippi River to the West is one of those ideas that pops up from time to time as a solution to our drought problem. It’s not going to happen. “I think the feasibility study is likely to tell us what we already know,” said Rhett Larson, an Arizona State University professor of water law, “which is that there are a lot less expensive, less complicated options that we can be investing in right now,” like reducing water use. The studies that have already been done by the Bureau of Reclamation and by Western Illinois University show that diverting water from the Mississippi is technically possible, but it would cost $1,700 per acre-foot of water and require a pipe that is 88-feet wide running from the river to the Front Range. It would also take decades to build. We need to get serious about our water problem and pumping water in from the Mississippi is not a serious solution. There may be some ways to increase the amount of fresh water we have by a marginal amount. Desalination may have a part to play, though that is also very expensive. The hard truth is the most cost-efficient way we have to deal with this crisis is by conserving water. At the end of the day it will be much cheaper and more sustainable to just get more efficient so we don’t need any giant pipelines at all. [SOURCE]

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New Job Postings on KRWA Website
The Kansas Rural Water Association's "Job Postings" web page includes openings that have recently been submitted by:

  • Coty of Paola (Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator 1)
  • City of Tribune (City Superintendent)
  • City of Peabody (Policy Chief)
  • City of Maize (Maintenance Worker)
  • City of Towanda (City Superintendnent)
  • City of Osawatomie ( Journeyman Lineman)
  • City of Osawatomie (Journeyman Lineman)
  • City of Hutchinson (Three Positions: Wastewater Laboratory Technician, Water Maintenance Worker, Sewer Maintenance Worker)
  • City of Marion (Five positions: City Clerk, Chief of Police, Assistant Chief of Police, Patrol Officer, Groundskeeper)
  • City of Hillsboro (Five Positions: Accounts Payable/Payroll Clerk; Apprentice Lineman; Hillsboro Golf / Recreation Assistant Superintendent, Street Maintenance 1 and Water/Sewer Trainee
  • City of Wichita (Three Positions: Director of Public Works, Instrumentation Electric and Control Specialist, Utility Operations and Maintenance Specialist)
  • Dickinson RWD 1 (Office Manager, full-time)
  • City of Baldwin City (Water Treatment Plant Operator)
  • City of Pratt (City Employee)
  • City of Downs (Maintenance Worker)
  • Kansas Department of Corrections (Facility Maintenance Supervisor at Norton)
  • City of Wichita (Accounting Manager)
  • City of Gardner (Five Positions - Asset Management Coordinator, Maintenance Worker, Wastewater Plant Operator, Engineering Technician II, Meter Technician. Note -- salaries are also posted)
  • City of Newton (Wastewater Plant Operator)
  • City of Newton (Water/Wastewater Maintenance Worker II)
  • --- And many additional openings

KRWA provides job postings at no charge. Job openings to be posted should be e-mailed in a Word or text document to krwa@krwa.net.