LAWRENCE — Persistent Kansas droughts and their consequences are the subject of an upcoming symposium at the University of Kansas.
Beyond the Long Hot Summer: The Future of Water in Kansas, will take place Friday, Feb. 22. The event will be 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by a reception, in The Commons at Spooner Hall.
The sponsor is the National Science Foundation-Integrated Graduate Education & Research Traineeship C-Change Program.
Recent, persistent drought conditions, which are not expected to end in the near term, have been reminiscent of the droughts of the 1980s, 1950s and even the 1930s. Such events have significant impacts on local Kansan economies and communities. The severity of the current drought has spurred discussion and debate among the Kansas Legislature and the farming community about the future of water in Kansas. Recent research suggests that droughts may become more severe and more frequent in the future, thereby necessitating a better understanding of potential impacts to water resources and agriculture as well as the development of appropriate management and adaptation strategies.
Symposium participants are as follows:
- Rex Buchanan is the interim director of the Kansas Geological Survey and will serve as the symposium moderator.
- Aavudai Anandhi is an assistant professor at Kansas State University in the Department of Agronomy. She will speak on how predictions based on climate models in Kansas may translate into impacts on crops.
- Anthony Layzell is a KU doctoral student in quaternary geology and geomorphology. He will present the findings of a recent paleoclimatic study on drought variability in Kansas over the past 1,000 years.
- Johannes Feddema is the chair of KU’s Department of Geography. His research focuses on the study of natural and human-induced climate change, and how climate change affects the environment and society.
- James Butler is the acting chief of the Geohydrology Section at the Kansas Geological Survey. His research interests focus on groundwater flow and changes in aquifer water levels, particularly with respect to the High Plains (Ogallala) aquifer in western Kansas.
- Susan Stover is manager of High Plains Issues with the Kansas Water Office, the state’s water planning agency. She will speak on some of the water conservation initiatives designed to extend and preserve the life of the High Plains (Ogallala) aquifer.
- Don Steeples is a Dean A. McGee Distinguished Professor of Geophysics at KU. He will talk about his experience in agriculture by giving a reprise of his IGERT C-CHANGE colloquia talk, “Whither the Wheat Weather.”
The symposium will last approximately three hours, followed by a reception of local foods. Speakers will have 15-20 minutes for presentation, allowing for time for questions and discussions at the end of the session.