The old idea of diverting excess water from the Missouri River in northeast Kansas and pumping it to western Kansas has never seemed economically feasible. But state officials asked for an updated cost study as part of Gov. Sam Brownback’s push to develop a 50-year water plan for the state. A draft report of that study estimates that it would cost more than $18 billion to build and finance the aqueduct, plus more than $400 million a year to operate and maintain it. In addition to the high cost, there also would be legal issues and challenges. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon mocked the proposal in his State of the State address Wednesday as Kansas’ “latest harebrained idea” and told Missouri lawmakers that “we can’t let that happen.” – Phillip Brownlee
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