Rep. Sharice Davids Advocates for Kansas’ Inclusion in Water Conservation Program Amidst Drought Conditions

By Trish Svoboda

Representative Sharice Davids has called on the U.S. Department of the Interior to consider extending a water conservation program to include Kansas’ High Plains Aquifer (HPA), a vital resource for the state’s farmers. The HPA’s water levels are falling, prompting a need for sustainable solutions. Davids, a member of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee, supports the Inflation Reduction Act, which established this conservation program.

Davids emphasized the importance of agriculture to Kansas’ economy and the threats posed by drought and water scarcity. She urged the inclusion of Kansas in the Lower Colorado River Basin Conservation and Efficiency Program (LC Conservation Program) to secure a reliable water supply.

Kansas is experiencing severe drought conditions, impacting agriculture and reducing the water supply of the Ogallala Aquifer, part of the HPA. The depletion of the Aquifer could lead to economic hardship, increased food costs, and displacement of people.

The LC Conservation Program, initially designed to address the Colorado River Basin’s drought, is set to receive an additional $500 million for projects in other drought-affected basins. Davids supports Governor Laura Kelly’s request for Kansas to be included in the program.

Joe Newland, President of the Kansas Farm Bureau, and Governor Laura Kelly both endorsed Davids’ efforts. Davids has been working to secure a reliable water supply for Kansas and has requested changes to this year’s annual water resource bill to save Kansas over $41 million. She is also working on a bipartisan Farm Bill to support Kansas farmers and secure agricultural supply chains.

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