The quality and quantity of water available for human consumption and industrial use have long been issues of concern for Kansas, where much of the state faces the potential for inadequate supplies.
Kansas has been a leader in documenting how much water is used, how it is used and the rate of recharge of key aquifers and alluvial resources. As part of that effort, the annual Kansas Water Issues Forum was initiated.
This year's Water Issues Forum is scheduled for two days and two cities: Wednesday, Feb. 29 in Wichita and Thursday, March 1 in Hays. The theme of this year's forum is Just Add Water: Kansas and the Economy.
The new play in oil and gas resource development in south-central Kansas has put particular emphasis on just how key water is to Kansas economic development. New technologies of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and its potential impact on water supplies will be main topics in this year's forum.
While the economic boom from the new development is welcome, questions as to the impacts on water and land have arisen. Industry experts and state agencies will present fact based information on this topic.
The forum will also include:
Oklahoma's experiences with the recent boom of the shale gas development
How an energy company determines the mix of energy sources to meet future demands
What the role of government should be in energy development
The Kansas Water Issue Forums are co-sponsored by the Kansas Water Office and the K-State Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environmental (KCARE).
Registration is available online at: www.kwo.org or by mail. The deadline to register is Wednesday, February 22. The $15 registration fee includes a catered lunch and meeting materials.
If accommodations are needed for persons with disabilities, please notify the KWO at least five working days prior to the meeting.