WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced the inclusion of legislation he authored to extend federal funding authorization for the Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project in S. 47, the Natural Resources Management Act, a package of over 100 bills relating to public lands, natural resources and water projects. Today, S. 47 passed the Senate by a vote of 92-8, and now goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.
“The Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project has significant consequences not only for Wichita, but also for all aquifer stakeholders,” said Sen. Moran. “This critical measure will help make certain South Central Kansas has a safe drinking water supply, and I’m pleased this project was included in the final bill that passed the U.S. Senate. I look forward to this legislation’s swift consideration and passage in the House.”
This measure would extend federal funding authorization for the Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project for 10 years to increase the amount of groundwater available for later use and to raise water levels in the aquifer. Expiration of the authorization would make the project ineligible for further federal funding. The inclusion of the Sen. Moran-authored provision would allow for ongoing discussions to take place within the Department of the Interior regarding the available options to make certain the federal government fulfills its obligations to protect Wichita’s primary source of potable water. Equus Beds is the primary fresh water source for South Central Kansas and lies under parts of Sedgwick, Harvey, Reno and McPherson Counties.
Items to note:
- Sen. Moran introduced legislation to extend the Equus Beds Authorization on February 4, 2016.
- On April 20, 2016, the Senate passed this legislation, but it was stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- A provision authored by Sen. Moran to improve the Fort Scott National Historic Site was also included in the Natural Resources Management Act.
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