Legislation ensures safe drinking water supply in south central Kansas
Apr 20 2016
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran’s (R-Kan.) legislation (S. 2488) to extend federal funding authorization for the Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project by 10 years passed the U.S. Senate today.
“The Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project has significant consequences not only for Wichita, but also for all aquifer stakeholders,” Sen. Moran said. “I’m pleased legislation to support this project passed the United States Senate, and look forward to swift consideration and passage in the House. This bill will help make certain citizens of South Central Kansas have a safe drinking water supply for decades to come.”
“The City of Wichita appreciates Senator Moran’s efforts to quickly introduce and pass critical legislation to support the Equus Beds project to ensure a safe drinking water supply for our region,” Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell said. “Our community has made a significant investment in this project, and we are delighted to be one step closer to safeguarding 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 legislation, which is also sponsored by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), 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.
Sen. Moran has visited the Equus Beds and Groundwater Management District office in Halstead, Kan., and met with District Manager Tim Boese to learn about the aquifer and the groundwater management practices.