The sixth annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas will be held November 8-9 at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas. The conference brings together scientists, water managers, state and federal officials and legislators, city and county administrators, environmental organizations, irrigators and citizens who share an interest in Kansas water resources.
Events for the conference include special speakers, a photo contest and poster session. The Water Legacy and Be the Vision award recipients also will be presented. Breakout sessions will cover a variety of subjects: in addition to a session about emergency response efforts in Kansas, panelists from other states will discuss how agricultural and municipal stakeholders partner to benefit and improve water supply. Other sessions will feature federal and state leaders’ updates on the Farm Bill, and Israeli officials will provide updates in another breakout session on their successes and challenges going from drought to surplus water supply.
Keynote speakers on day one include Jim Guilliford, EPA Region 7 Administrator, and Michael Teague, Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and the Environment.
Sponsors for the event include over 40 different businesses, associations, and agencies from across Kansas. Registration has sold out for day two of the conference, but interested attendees can contact the Kansas Water Office to be placed on a waiting list. Registration for day one is still open.
On a sun-drenched August day, a group of farmers, sales representatives, government officials and university researchers were gathered, not in a conference room, but in the middle of a cornfield. Under the unrelenting sun, everyone had one thing on their minds: water, and how to use less of it.
This is a Water Technology Farm, one of the working farms sprinkled across the state whose owners have volunteered to focus on water conservation, in addition to crops and livestock. University researchers often tout new irrigation technologies as efficient or cost-effective, but farmers never really know how those technologies – so triumphant in a controlled experimental field – will perform in their own fields. With Water Technology Farms, producers can see first-hand how the latest irrigation technologies work in a real-world setting.
At six different Water Technology Farm field days across the state, K-State extension water resource engineer Jonathan Aguilar explained to the public how these farms work: by showcasing technologies such as mobile drip irrigation (MDI), evapotranspiration (ET)-based scheduling tools, soil water sensors and other tools, producers can see visible proof about how each of these experimental methodologies can assist them in their efforts toward water conservation.