Faril and Froetschner of Pawnee County, represented GMD5 at the annual Governor's Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas held November 7-8 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita.
Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5 will take the lead in working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reach a sustainable voluntary agreement on the water rights issue that has been on the agricultural front burner for several months, according to GMD5 Manager Orrin Faril.
Faril’s statement comes on the heels of the October 21 update the GMD5 received giving notification that a request for water on behalf of Quivera National Wildlife Refuge will not be made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for Fiscal Year 2020, negating the water-curtailment program drafted by Kansas Chief Engineer David W. Barfield that was scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Two informational meetings held by Barfield, also on October 21, drew standing room only attendance with community support shown for water users’ issues.
“GMD5 is committed to taking the lead to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for a sustainable resolution to the water issue,” Faril said.
Faril, along with GMD5 Board Member Kerry Froetschner of Pawnee County, represented GMD5 at the annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas held November 7-8 at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita.
The event attracted about 700 attendees, including state and congressional legislators, state and federal officials, organizations and citizens sharing an avid interest in Kansas’ water resources.
Lt. Gov. Lynn Rogers presided over the event in the absence of Gov. Laura Kelly.
Topics for the two-day conference highlighted updates to the Kansas water vision and its integration with the Kansas water plan and also covered the latest policy and research developments of water issues in Kansas, including sustainability across the supply chain, flooding impacts, groundwater quality and reservoir sediment management.
“I enjoy going to the conference every year to talk to others involved with water issues,” Faril said, who has headed GMD5 for the past six year.
“It gives me the chance to discuss issues face-to-face, rather than over the phone or by email.”
GMD5 Board members held their regular monthly meeting Thursday, November 14, at the district office in Stafford.
The next GMD5 board meeting is tentatively scheduled for December 12 at 8:30 a.m. at the Stafford District Office, 125 South Main.
All board meetings are open to the public and the agenda is posted on the GMD5 website www.gmd5.org, Faril said.