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New Atlas of Kanas Lakes gives in depth look at growing water concerns in the state

Friday, February 21, 2014

The following story was broadcast by Channel 6 News of Lawrence, Kansas. See online article and video.

While Kansas may be known for its farm land, a new atlas released by the Kansas Biological survey is proving that the lakes are equally as important.

Director of the Kansas Biological Survey Ed Martinko said the idea to publish the atlas came from issues regarding Kansas reservoirs and lakes, with one of the of the biggest growing concerns being the water supply.

"There is lots of sediment moving in to our reservoirs thereby reducing the capacity of those reservoirs, and now the water office estimates that 60 percent of Kansans receive their drinking water from a reservoir source, either directly or indirectly," said Martinko.

Martinko said the effects of sediment moving in to our reservoirs reduce the capacity, leading to less water storage.

"Let's face it no matter how much we invest in education or any other programs, if we don't have sufficient drinking water, no one is going to live in Kansas," Tom Sloan, State representative said.

But the Atlas is meant to serve as a reference to help those around the state better understand what condition the lakes are in now, with useful graphs, depth charts, and even shows where boating docks are.

"Particularly if they can see the depth of the reservoir, and they are a fisherman and want to know where they could get the best access to fish," Martinko said.

While reeling in the big catch is a plus, Sloan says a lot of the attention in 2015 from the Kansas house will be focused on water policies relate.

"And this book will tie in because it will help all policy makers prioritize and understand the urgency for some of our drinking water supply lakes," Sloan said.

Copies of the Atlas are available from the Kansas Geological Survey for $25 per copy. The book can be purchased by contacting the Kansas Geological Survey.

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