Heartland Health Monitor
1:20 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Kansas Plan To Conserve Water Looks To Combine Carrots And Sticks

Gov. Sam Brownback's effort to create a 50-year water plan for the state is moving into its first stages -- with selection of a panel to mull statewide conservation solutions and a series of five-member regional teams to find local ones.
Credit Eric Durban / Harvest Public Media

Eber Phelps was a member of the Hays City Commission in 1991 when two of the city’s water wells went dry, sucking up nothing but air.

Until then, Hays had little comprehensive plan to save water. The city dug wells here and there and let residents do what they pleased with their plumbing systems.

That all changed when the wells went dry.

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Central Standard
4:33 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

What's Going On Below: An Update On The Sewer System Overhaul

Kansas City's biggest public works project to date is taking place beneath our streets.
Credit Greg L at English Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons

Who's digging in the street outside your window? Hopefully, it's Kansas City Water Services.

The city recently embarked on a major, multi-billion-dollar overhaul of the combined sewer and wastewater system, which was first laid out in the nineteenth century.

Four years into the overhaul, officials from the Water Services Department visited the Central Standard studios to remind us why we're doing this in the first place, and to let us know how it's going so far. 

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Up to Date
11:18 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Western Kansas Drought Effects Reach Across State

The droughts of western Kansas could affect the water supply in Kansas City.
Credit Kansas Poetry / Flickr-CC

You've heard about how farmers in western Kansas have faced drought problems, but you might not know that the drought can affect the water supply here in Kansas City.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we take a look at the drought's far-reaching effects and what actions could fix the problem.


  • Josh Swatty, vice president of the Land Institute
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8:24 am
Thu November 7, 2013

New Clean Water Rules Protect More Streams And Lakes In Missouri

Missouri's new clean water standards will protect tens-of-thousands of additional miles of rivers and streams.
Credit Kelsey Proud / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Clean Water Commission has approved a sweeping regulatory overhaul of the state's water quality standards.

In a vote held Wednesday, the governor-appointed seven-person panel unanimously approved revised regulations that greatly expand the number of protected water bodies in the state. An additional 2,100 lakes and 90,000 miles of rivers and streams will gain protection under the law, including specific limits on bacteria and other pollutants.

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7:39 am
Mon September 9, 2013

Western Kansas Looks To Missouri River For Water

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers report in 1982 proposed a 360-mile canal, with 16 pump stations to propel the water uphill to western Kansas.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The Kansas Water Office is preparing to take a fresh look at the idea of transferring surplus Missouri River Water to Western Kansas, where the underground aquifer is being rapidly depleted. 

The study will update a 1982 feasibility study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Their report proposed a 360-mile canal with 16 pump stations to propel the water uphill to western Kansas. They estimated the cost at around $8 billion in 1977. 

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Harvest Public Media
7:37 am
Tue July 30, 2013

As Aquifer Dwindles, Rural Kan. Wells Run Dry

Limited water supply has put stress on many western Kansas towns, like Meade.
Credit Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

The drought, now in its third year in parts of western Kansas is taxing a resource that has been under pressure for decades: the High Plains Aquifer system.

The aquifer is enormous, but it’s running low in places, forcing a move to dry land farming, and farmers aren’t the only ones effected.

The drought has been burning up crops, lawns and trees for three years now. But there are places where you wouldn’t even know it’s dry, like at the Garden City Big Pool, in Garden City, Kan.

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7:46 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Kan. Farmers Struggle As Ogallala Aquifer Dwindles

Because of the short water supply, farmer Anthony Stevenson only planted half his corn field this year.
Credit Frank Morris / Harvest Public Media

Imagine enough water to fill a couple of great lakes, but spread under some of the driest parts of eight western states. That was the High Plains Aquifer 60 years ago, before new pumping and irrigation systems made it easy for farmers to extract billions of gallons from it, and use it to grow lucrative crops on the arid land.

An agricultural gold rush of sorts followed, transforming the regional economy. But now parts of the aquifer are playing out, leaving parts of the high plains high and dry.

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Harvest Public Media
5:00 am
Mon May 27, 2013

How Federal Funds Flow To Rural Communities

Staunton, Ill., Mayor Craig Neuhaus, left, checks out the town’s new water plant with Hank Fey, a public works director.
Credit Bill Wheelhouse / Harvest Public Media

In the small town of Staunton, Ill., the new $9 million water plant is a welcome addition. After all, when the 80-year-old facility it replaces seized up last year, the community’s 5,000 residents were without water for five days.

But for Staunton’s part-time mayor Craig Neuhaus, the plant represents more than water security. He expects the water system upgrade to help bring business to this town about 40 miles north of St. Louis.

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Central Standard
1:09 pm
Fri May 18, 2012

Swimming for Health and Fitness

Photo by Tomeka Weatherspoon

Local triathlete John Aust discusses fitness swimming, pool rehab and working in aquatics at UMKC's Swinney Recreation Center.

Plus, hear from a married couple that's been coming to Swinney for well over a decade. Almost as long as they've been retired.

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Central Standard
7:31 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Swimming & Pools

Photo by Tomeka Weatherspoon

On Thursday’s Central Standard, it’s the final chapter in our three part series on how we seek out water. Part one was fountains. Then, we looked to local lakes and rivers. Now, we’re going to explore a childhood classic: swimming pools. Well, swimming and pools.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Boating & Fishing On KC Waters

Bill Anderson KCUR

On  Thursday’s Central Standard, we embark on the next installment in our three-part series looking at how we find water in our city. This time we look to the lakes and rivers, where fishers cast their nets, canoes glide across the water and boaters set sail.

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2:32 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Kansas City Now Boasts Highest Water Rates In Metro

Flickr user Clearly Ambiguous Creative Commons

As of May 1, 2012, Kansas City, Mo. residents can expect higher rates on water usage and wastewater (sanitary sewer) services.

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Up to Date
2:40 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Spring Gardening: Help Grow Your Green Thumb

There may be no controlling Mother Nature, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your garden to cooperate. But keeping your gardening blossoming instead of browning is easier said than done.

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