Foresee a future

What would you be willing to begin doing now to help ensure that Kansans a half-century down the road will have a reliable source of water? That?s the question at the heart of Gov. Brownback?s call last fall to develop a 50-year vision for the state?s water supply and setting goals needed to achieve it.

Following a series of public gatherings, a discussion draft of the state?s ?water vision? was released earlier this month. According to the Wichita Eagle, the draft outlines more than 170 possible strategies under four main themes: water conservation, water management, technology and crop varieties and new sources of supply. One potential goal is to reduce statewide water consumption by 20 percent, likely through a combination of voluntary and involuntary measures?the cost of which has not been estimated. The draft also proposes pricing water ?such that it encourages conservation by identifying its true value.?

We?re kidding ourselves if we think reaching these conservation goals will come without a significant change in our lifestyle and likely a pretty good hit on our wallets. But the alternative?having an insufficient water supply to sustain basic personal and economic necessities?is far worse. We need a good plan and we?ll need to act on it.

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