Recently Robert Winiecke, City Engineer for the City of Great Bend was approved to serve on the Upper Arkansas Basin Advisory Committee (BAC) to help provide information and advice on water issues to the Kansas Water Authority (KWA). BACs serve as a forum for community involvement to address high priority water issues within their region.
“These citizen advisory groups provide insight, track issues and help alert the Water Authority and Kansas Water Office when areas of concern arise,” said Gary Harshberger, Kansas Water Authority Chair. “They play a key role in providing input into the Kansas Water Plan and identifying state priorities.”
Each of the state’s 12 principal river basins in Kansas has a BAC. The committees were established in 1985 and for more than 20 years BACs have been a vital voice for water resource issues in Kansas.
“I look forward to this opportunity to gain a better understanding of the status and management of this natural resource, which is becoming an ever-growing concern for future generations,” Winiecke said.
In 2006 the original committee structure was modified to increase citizen input and the committees’ impact. All BACs have seven “core” categories: agriculture, conservation/environment, fish and wildlife, industry/commerce, municipal public water suppliers, recreation and an at-large public member. Each BAC fills the balance of their membership roster with membership categories that represent the diversity of water uses and user groups in their basin. Winiecke was approved to represent the Domestic category.
BAC meetings are held throughout the year and members are also encouraged to attend the KWA meetings as well. The next Upper Ark BAC meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Oct. 16 at the Horse Thief Reservoir Office and will focus on identifying priorities for the 2014 Kansas Water Plan. All interested citizens are encouraged to attend.
For more information about the Basin Advisory Committees and upcoming meetings, visit www.kwo.org.