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A dredging barge operates on John Redmond reservoir
SEDIMENT REDUCTION: A dredging barge operates on John Redmond reservoir in 2017. Now, a new effort is being undertaken to reduce the amount of sediment flowing into Fall River, Kanopolis, John Redmond and Tuttle Creek Reservoirs. The initiative will provide funds to help with conservation efforts on lands in the watersheds of the reservoirs.

New initiative will work to reduce reservoir sedimentation

Governor approves start of new effort to reduce silting-in of federal reservoirs.

Governor Jeff Colyer has announced an initiative to enhance sediment reduction efforts above four federal reservoirs: Fall River, Kanopolis, John Redmond and Tuttle Creek.  These reservoirs have lost 35%, 39%, 40% and 46% of their water supply storage, respectively.  Lands located in targeted sub-watersheds in Butler, Coffey, Ellsworth, Greenwood, Lyon, Marshall, Nemaha and Washington counties are eligible for assistance.

The Kansas Reservoir Protection Initiative was funded by the 2018 Kansas Legislature as part of a partial restoration of the State Water Plan Fund to address priority Kansas Water Vision projects recommended by the Kansas Water Authority. 

"As we manage our water resources during times of drought, our reliance on reservoir storage increases exponentially," Colyer says. "Watershed protection is our most economical means of maintaining our surface water supplies."

Under this initiative, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Kansas Water Office, and the Kansas, Neosho, Smoky Hill-Saline and Verdigris regional advisory committees are collaborating to prioritize projects that will yield the greatest sediment reduction per dollar invested.  

"I appreciate the leadership of our regional advisory committees in the development of action plans to address this critical water issue in Kansas," says Gary Harshberger, Kansas Water Authority chairman. 

Landowners interested in participating are encouraged to contact their local county conservation district or Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy Coordinator to apply. Many sediment-reducing Best Management Practices are eligible through this initiative, however projects focusing on large gully repair and soil health practices such as reduced tillage, nutrient management, and cover crops are highly encouraged. Applications for the Initiative will be accepted throughout the year but landowners are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as initial approvals will be made by the end of September.

For additional information, please visit kwo.ks.gov.

Source: Kansas Water Office

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