Still questions about water plan
Over the past year, the city of Wichita has evaluated potential new water supply options. Recently, the city revealed enhancement of the aquifer storage and recovery project (ASR) as the preferred new supply. Although ASR enhancement may ultimately prove a viable option, there are still significant uncertainties.
First, a current state-level requirement prohibits the city from using any ASR-stored water should the Equus Beds become stressed during a drought.
Second, we have already spent more than $200 million on the ASR, and it has yet to significantly affect the amount of water stored in the Equus Beds.
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Third, in a drought scenario (i.e., dust bowl), the Equus Beds will be overutilized, resulting in accelerating the migration of the chloride plume to city supply wells. This likely will result in additional costs, beyond the proposed $250 million, to treat the chloride-containing water.
Fourth, there have been recent discussions at the state level about working with irrigators to lease their water rights to the city in a drought scenario, or even establishing a water bank for the area. These options could result in providing needed water in a dust bowl scenario at a much-reduced cost.
Finally, city representatives state that when using existing state guidelines for drought planning, Wichita already has adequate water for another 20-plus years.
Our community has an opportunity to work together to solve its long-term water needs. Fortunately, our current supply is adequate to allow more time for full evaluation of our options.
Talk to teachers
I have this unique idea: Instead of depending on the explanations about the arbitrary level of ideal financial support for our public schools offered by various candidates for elected office – such as ads approved by Gov. Sam Brownback and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Davis – talk to teachers.
I have – to dozens, if not hundreds, over several years of late.
At the edge of unanimity, classroom teachers and school administrators are seriously concerned about the level of financial support assigned to our public schools, thus hampering their meeting desired goals. These professionals express very low confidence in returning either Brownback or Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., to their respective offices. These gentlemen’s record of support for our public schools is dismal, which translates to making the work of classroom teachers even more demanding and students’ improved performance more unlikely.
While cautiously optimistic, the educators I am talking with are committing their support for Davis and the independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, Greg Orman.
Surely public school teachers and administrators are a far more reliable source of advice about how much needed financial support will improve our schools than all of the campaign ads.
JOHN H. WILSON
October is Bullying Prevention Month. In the 2014 Kansas Communities That Care Survey, more than 13,000 Kansas students stated they were bullied between one and two times per week, and about 2,500 students disclosed being bullied each day. Nationwide, about 160,000 U.S. children stay home from school each day because of fear of attack or intimidation by other students, according to the National Education Association.
Bullying is intentional, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance, is directed at a specific target and usually repeated over time. It includes physical, verbal, social, sexual/gender and cyberbullying. Bullied kids, bullies and kids who witness bullying are all negatively affected emotionally and psychologically.
At the Prevent Child Abuse Kansas chapter, our goal is to connect families, empower youths and transform Kansas into a state of kindness. Join us in celebrating Kansas Kindness Day on Oct. 22. Perform random acts of kindness for your fellow Kansans and wear orange to show your support for bullying prevention. Visit http://www.facebook.com/MakingKansasBullyFree to see acts of kindness that are being done across the state.
To access resources and learn more, visit the Kansas Children’s Service League website at kcsl.org or call 800-CHILDREN.
Prevent Child Abuse Kansas
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