Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback held a ceremonial signing yesterday of a bill designed to conserve the state’s water supply and extend the life of the Ogallala Aquifer. SB 310, supported through the legislative process by KLA, will allow Local Enhanced Management Areas (LEMAs) to be established within a groundwater management district. If approved by the chief engineer of the state’s Division of Water Resources, a LEMA could include restrictions that extend the life of the local groundwater supply.

“This tool allows Kansans to join together and offer up ideas that work on the local level,” said Brownback during the bill signing at Colby Community College (CCC).

Joining Brownback for the ceremony were CCC students, Kansas Water Office Director Tracy Streeter, Groundwater Management District 4 Manager Wayne Bossert, Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources Chief Engineer Dave Barfield, state legislators and agricultural stakeholder groups.

Work on reforming the state’s water laws began last year when the Brownback administration held the Ogallala Aquifer Water Summit in Colby. Hundreds of Kansans attended the summit to express concerns about the future of the state’s water supply. As a result, water reform legislation, including the LEMA bill, was presented to the Kansas Legislature for its consideration.

For more information visit www.kla.org.