Water, it is the most important resource we have, not just in agriculture but humanity as a whole. It is an extraordinarily complex and difficult issue. This year the legislature proposed a massive water bill and while I will not get into the details of it, it did emphasize that water is an issue we will have to deal with in short order.
Water issues in Kansas are many and varied. In general, if you are from western Kansas, it is about quantity and aquifers. If you reside in eastern Kansas you are dealing with sedimentation, harmful algae blooms and flooding. There are many more issues, but you get the idea, water issues are diversified, complex and they are critical to all of us. Will we have enough water? Where will it come from? Will it be safe? Are all questions we need to wrestle with.
Kansas Farm Bureau has extensive policy when it comes to water and water rights. We have developed those policies through the years, and they have come from our grassroots. Just like all policy we need to make sure that our water policy reflects our current situation and accurately gives us direction. In short, we need to take a deep look at our policy.
It’s no secret that other organizations are getting involved in the debate about water at the state and national levels. Some of these groups have different viewpoints and objectives than we do at Kansas Farm Bureau. We need to have a presence and be at the table when water is discussed. That means we need to have clear, concise and solid water policy. That is where you, Kansas Farm Bureau members, come in.
We will be taking a deeper dive into our water policy in the near future to make sure it is relevant and fits your needs. Please watch for announcements of what the process will look like and be ready to do some hard work. This process will require us all to do our homework and learn more about water in Kansas. We need to understand the complexity of the issues and how they affect agriculture and society in general. This is not going to be an easy process, and it will require all of us to come together to help provide possible solutions.
This is an issue that affects all of us, and it is the biggest problem we have ever tackled. That is why we need everyone. If you are not a Kansas Farm Bureau member, I encourage you to go to your county office and join. We all need to be at the table for this one. We might look at our policy and decide it is just fine, but my guess is that we will see things that need to be changed.
The one thing I do know is that our grassroots’ developed policy is some of the strongest out there and if we all put our heads together, we can produce a good solution. There will be more information to come in the near future, please be ready to join in and add your ideas to this important issue.