Col. Rich Pratt

(Conrad) Good morning and welcome to Farm Factor on AGam in Kansas. I’m your host Conrad Kabus. Today we take a special look at the 50-Year Water Vision Plan proposed at the Kansas Water Office. Take a look. The U.S. Corps of Engineers are responsible for several reservoirs in Kansas. These reservoirs are essential to Kansas citizens’ lives. (Rich) You know the Tulsa District, we’re responsible for eight multi- purpose reservoirs within the southern half of Kansas. And of course the Kansas City District operates the another nine multi purpose reservoirs in the rest of Kansas. And those lakes are critical in that they provide flood risk management, water supply, water quality and recreation to the communities. (Conrad) The John Redmond Reservoir is four miles north of Burlington and one mile west of New Strong, Kansas. It was built and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers originally for the purpose of flood control. (Rich) Well right now we’re working very closely with the Kansas Water Office, the Tulsa District is, for the restoration and the conservation pool at John Redmond Reservoir. So, what does that mean? The state of Kansas is really moving forward in trying to extend the life cycle for the John Redmond Reservoir by dredging out the silt that has filled the conservation pool at a much higher rate than they anticipated. I think the other lakes that they’re looking to do that include Elk City and Toronto but those are things really that will happen after we see the success there at John Redmond. (Conrad) There are several ways Kansas reservoirs have been modified to take in less sediment. (Rich) Well again, it’s really the state of Kansas that has leaned forward and what they’ve done is a lot of stream bed stabilization up stream so that prevents the silt and some of the other contaminants from entering the stream and clogging up the reservoirs. (Conrad) The U.S. Corps of Engineers hopes to make sure that reservoirs are multi purpose for Kansas citizens. (Rich) Our role I guess, the Tulsa District, we’re 75 years old this year. And based off of the great floods of the ’20s and then followed by the droughts of the ’30s, the federal government gave the Corps of Engineers permission to go into the Midwest and develop these multi-purpose reservoirs to protect against floods and protect against drought. So, the Tulsa District actually operates 38 lakes between Kansas, Oklahoma and north Texas. And like I said it’s multi purpose in what they do flood risk management, water supply, water quality. On some of the reservoirs that we have down in Oklahoma we also do hydro power and recreation has become a big piece of that.

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