Feb 04 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) introduced legislation today (S. 2488) to extend the federal funding authorization for the Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project by 10 years. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS-04) also introduced the companion legislation (H.R. 4440) in the House to provide additional time for completion.
"Ten years ago, Congress determined, and the President agreed, that the Equus Beds project should be a priority and that determination is still true today," Sen. Moran said. "The Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project has significant consequences for the city of Wichita and the state of Kansas as a whole, and we cannot allow this project to expire. Our legislation will help make certain the citizens of South Central Kansas will have a safe drinking water supply for decades to come."
"As a state that often experiences prolonged drought, Kansans understand the importance of a high quality and abundant water supply," Sen. Roberts said. "I’m glad we were able to extend the Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project 10 years ago, and I look forward to continuing my work to ensure that the people of South Central Kansas can count on the Equus Beds Aquifer as a safe and lasting water source."
"The people of the fourth district have relied on the Equus Beds aquifer for a consistent supply of drinking water for many years," Rep. Pompeo said. "A decade ago, Congress and the president determined that the longevity of this resource was of the utmost importance – and it remains so today. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this legislation to ensure that this vital natural resource continues to provide safe and abundant water for many years to come."
"The Equus Beds are a vital resource not only for the City of Wichita but for our entire region," said Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell. "The City of Wichita has made a significant investment in this project and we are thrilled that legislation is being introduced to continue protecting this asset for future generations."
The original authorization of federal funds for the project – which is administered by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) under the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) – began on Oct. 5, 2006, and was valid for 10 years from that date. Expiration of the authorization would make the project ineligible for further federal funding. Equus Beds is the primary fresh water source for south-central Kansas and lies under parts of Sedgwick, Harvey, Reno and McPherson Counties.
The Moran-Roberts-Pompeo legislation would allow for ongoing discussions to take place with the USBR regarding the available options to make certain the federal government fulfills its obligations to protect Wichita’s primary source of potable water.
To read the full text of the legislation, click below.
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