KU to host Big-12 universities water workshop

LAWRENCE – Water use – and abuse – has emerged in recent years as a major challenge in Kansas, affecting all aspects of life in the state. It is a focus for multidisciplinary research at the University of Kansas and is the subject of a statewide policy initiative, the 50-Year Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas.

Water is also a concern beyond the borders of the state. A distinguished group of researchers from all Big 12 universities will meet Tuesday, Nov. 18, in Lawrence to share their findings and discuss opportunities for future intercampus collaborations concerning water.

The workshop will be preceded Monday, Nov. 17, by a panel discussion on “Confronting the Continuing Depletion of the High Plains Aquifer in Western Kansas.” It will take place at 5 p.m. at The Oread, 1200 Oread Ave. Rex Buchanan, interim director of the Kansas Geological Survey, will serve as moderator. Panelists will be Jay Garetson, a farmer who irrigates in southwest Kansas; Stan Townsend, a farmer who irrigates in northwest Kansas; and Mark Rude, executive director of Groundwater Management District 3 in Garden City. The program is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow.

Tuesday’s workshop will include participants from KU, Kansas State University, Iowa State University, Oklahoma State University, the University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University, Baylor University, Texas Christian University, the University of Texas at Austin and West Virginia University. Jeff Vitter, KU provost and executive vice chancellor, will open the workshop at 8 a.m., and the program continues through noon at the Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. It is also free and open to the public.


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