Brigadier General Retired Duke DeLuca

(Conrad) Good morning and welcome to Farm Factor on AGam in Kansas. I’m your host Conrad Kabus. Today’s episode is all about the 50-Year Water Vision Plan proposed at the Governor’s Conference in November, take a look. In October of 2013 Governor Brownback issued a call to action to his administration to develop a 50-Year Water Vision Plan for the future of water in Kansas. (Brownback) We’ll come forward with a full plan for you and for the Legislative session. We’ve already identified a $100 million dollars of places where we can make some substantial savings. I’ve laid that out several weeks ago. So we’ll add to that and we’ll work on it. We will balance the budget, required in the Constitution, we’re gonna get that done. We’re gonna make all of our bond payments that we have. We will get those done. (Conrad) It’s a fact that the Ogallala Aquifer is declining faster than it is recharging. Reservoirs, critical water storage structures for much of our state, are filling with sediment. At this rate, with no changes in the next 50 years, the Ogallala will be 70 percent depleted and our reservoirs will be filled with 40 percent sediment. After the first draft was made, provisions were brought to the annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas which was held November 12th through the 13th at the Hilton Garden Inn and Conference Center in Manhattan, Kansas. Brigadier General Retired Duke DeLuca presented at the conference. (Duke) My name is Brigadier General Retired Duke DeLuca. And I was invited by Mr. Tracy Streeter, the head of the Kansas Water Office to present at the Kansas Governor’s Water Conference where they have revealed and asked for feedback on their 50 year strategy to provide water and water services for the state. (Conrad) Duke presented that there are a few revolutions that can help Kansas farmers. They include ag productivity, hydrocarbon revolution and the obvious and measured impacts of climate change. (Duke) At the conference, I presented on four revolutions that are driving our environment and our economy in our society that need to be responded to within the Kansas Water Strategy Plan and within larger national government framework. Those revolutions are the revolution in agricultural productivity where our productiveness is multiplying by four or five and that is hugely important to the planet, our national security and stability of societies around the globe. And to our economy. But it increases the demand on ground and surface water in Kansas and across the U.S. The second revolution is the hydrocarbon revolution, tapping unconventional oil and gas using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques is revolutionizing the planet. It is huge. It is offering America a vast potential of energy that is comparatively cheap. The fourth revolution are the obvious and measured accelerating impacts of a changing climate that is getting warmer. It is getting warmer because of human activity. And we have lots of data to show why that is true and how it is affecting us. Currently the country spends less than $10 billion on water resources across a number of agencies at the federal level. Out of $3 trillion dollars that is a tiny, infinitesimal amount. And so this priority of water resources to our economical strength, our national security, our health and well being, our recreational opportunities is so important and an increase in capital investment at the federal level is a necessity. And Kansas can drive that with its strategy and through work of the federal government and its elected delegation to get the help that it needs and deserves working with its neighboring states, to address those concerns here.

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