KCGA Supports Water Funding Efforts

Kansas Governor Files Comments on Water Conservation Funding

KCGA Treasurer Kent Moore and Kansas Corn CEO Josh Roe assisted Governor Kelly’s staff and officials in developing a set of comments to the Department of Interior and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR). These comments showcased the need for funding for water conservation projects across the state, and especially within the Rattlesnake Creek Basin. The Rattlesnake Creek Basin contains the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, which has filed an impairment claim with the Chief Engineer, claiming they have not received adequate water in the past. This claim could lead to the Chief Engineer filing administrative orders to irrigated farmers in the region to curtail groundwater pumping for the refuge to receive their surface water allotment. In the Governor’s news release, Moore stated:

“KCGA is pleased and thankful for Governor Kelly recognizing the importance of requesting expansion of this federal funding for water conservation projects in Kansas,” said Kent Moore, Kansas Corn Growers Association (KCGA) Treasurer and farmer from Iuka, Kan. “These funds will provide key components in resolving the Quivira Impairment. We look forward to continuing to work with the Kelly administration in facilitating and implementing needed water conservation projects that benefit Kansas farmers, our environment, and our state’s economy.”

The BOR was allotted $5 billion within the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed in August of 2022 for drought mitigation. Historically, the BOR has administered programs within the Colorado River Basin for water conservation by providing cost-share to farmers for reducing irrigation through methods such as water right fallowing and reduced pumping on forage crops late in the season. If programs like those were expanded in Kansas, Kansas producers facing orders to reduce pumping in the Rattlesnake Creek Basin or those in western Kansas facing declining water resources could be compensated for pumping less water. This will avoid the full negative impacts to the local economy that will arise from a sudden conversion from irrigated to dryland farming, which will not only negatively impact producers, but their suppliers, markets, and local taxing entities such as the school districts.

KCGA will remain committed to finding sources of funds for producers facing water shortages, be that from potential administrative orders or decreased water availability.

To read Governor Kelly’s letter, click here

To read Kansas Secretary of Agriculture and Kansas Water Office Director letter, click here

Read the Governor’s news release here.