Topeka – For the first time since April, 2011 all Kansas counties are declared to be drought free. Following long awaited rains, counties saw improvement in conditions which led Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday to update the Drought Declaration for Kansas counties with Executive Order 16-02.
“We are thankful the recent rains helped remove all counties from a drought designation,” the governor said. “Agriculture plays a key role in the Kansas economy, and this is particularly good news for our farmers and ranchers. Water is a precious resource and the fact that Kansas is officially drought free for the first time in more than five years, is excellent news.”
Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team requested the drought-free declaration based on numerous factors. The Drought Response Team considers not only the Drought Monitor but many other factors when evaluating county designations such as: precipitation, reservoir and public water supply conditions, stream flow, soil moisture, climate, and vegetation, etc.
“Drought response over the past several years as well as all water resource management has been a collective effort of all Kansas citizens and county and state officials,” Streeter said. “This break in drought now gives the Response Team an opportunity to evaluate how we did in drought mitigation and prepare for the next drought, which we know will come. We encourage cities and rural water districts to also evaluate conservation and drought response plans to improve on lessons learned.”
The Kansas Water Vision implementation will provide a more reliable source of supply for future generations. Kansas citizens are encouraged to find ways they can implement conservation measures and daily habits to lessen the impacts of the next drought.
This Executive Order shall rescind drought from all counties with Executive Order 16-02 and remain in effect until rescinded by a subsequent Executive Order revising the drought stage status of Kansas counties.
The Governor’s Drought Response Team will continue to watch if drought conditions return.
For more detailed information about current conditions, see the Kansas Climate Summary and Drought Report on the Kansas Water Office website at: www.kwo.org