Water - its quantity, quality and the economic impact of its sustainability - is the topic for the "Water and the Future of Kansas Conference" scheduled for Tues., Oct. 26 in Topeka.

The conference, designed for anyone who is interested in learning more about issues affecting water supply and quality in the state, will be at the Capitol Plaza Hotel at 1717 S.W. Topeka Blvd. It begins with registration at 8 a.m. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4 p.m.

Karl Brooks, regional administrator with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will present a "National Perspective on Water Sustainability."

Lawrie Kirk, visiting fellow with the Center for the Public Awareness of Science at Australian National University, in Canberra, Australia, will present "Taking a More Strategic Approach to Science Communication."

Other speakers include Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks Secretary Mike Hayden, who will present "Sustaining Kansas Water Resources - How Are We Doing?"; Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty  -- "The Structure of Sustainability"; and Duane Goossen, secretary, Kansas Department of Administration and director, Kansas Division of the Budget - "The State Economy." Other speakers will include university scientists and economists, and federal, state and local agency officials.

Primary sponsors of the conference include the Kansas Water Resources Institute (KWRI), Kansas Center for Agricultural Research and the Environment (KCARE), Kansas State University Research and Extension, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

"We are excited to sponsor the 27th `Water and the Future of Kansas Conference´," said Steven Graham, interim director of KWRI/KCARE. 

Diverse attendees

"This conference draws a mix of people from many walks of life - state and federal agencies, universities, nonprofits, GMDs, WRAPS groups, cities, municipalities, and others who share an interest, responsibility or concern for water.  It is always a very interesting meeting, due to the diversity of attendees."

GMD refers to the groundwater management district and WRAPS refers to watershed restoration and protection strategy.

Presentations at the conference will focus on an array of topics, including a national perspective on sustainability; an overall look at the state´s economy; watershed sedimentation; increasing effective action; water quality issues in Kansas; the national agenda for improving water quality and states´ roles; best management practices; no-till practices in agriculture; the status of Kansas reservoirs and others.

An early registration fee of $65 per person is due by Oct. 12. Registration includes lunch and morning and afternoon refreshments. The fee after Oct. 12 is $90. Students may attend the conference for a fee of $25. Conference planners encourage early registration for meal planning purposes.

More information, including online registration, is available online at

www.dce.k-state.edu/conf/waterfuture or by contacting the conference office at 785-532-5575 or 1-800-622-2578, or e-mail debbieh@k-state.edu.