Yesterday Tom and I had the opportunity to attend the annually-held Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas. Over 600 people attended from various viewpoints including attorneys, politicians, engineers, researchers, and representative of numerous governmental agencies. Governor Brownback delivered a speech outlining his vision for managing water in the state. He emphasized the importance of conservation. Governor Brownback indicated that he believes that it is even possible to make the Ogallala Aquifer a sustainable resource.
Another notable speaker was Michael Teague, the Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment. He talked about the importance of collaboration between agencies and between states. Mr. Teague based his viewpoint off of extensive experience dealing with natural disasters, including a significant drought in Oklahoma.
Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer also spoke at the event. He echoed similar sentiment of Governor Brownback. A professor from Israel even provided an overview of how his country has dealt with issues involving the scarcity of water. In the afternoon, various additional speakers presented on topics such as the Farm Bill, sustainable agricultural initiatives, dealing with non-point sources of pollution, and emergency preparedness for drought.
The conference was an opportunity for networking and collaboration on essential issues impacting water as a resource. We had the opportunity to reconnect with many old acquaintances as well as establish new connections. Overall, it was a wonderful conference.