State records show that fewer irrigators are pumping more water than they are allowed to use annually.
The Hutchinson News reports that 114 water right holders received a first-offense warning of civil penalties so far this year for over-pumping in 2013. Another 70 irrigators were warned a second, and, for a few, a third time for over-pumping, and issued a $1,000 fine and temporary cutbacks to their annual water use. A fourth offense results in a water right revocation.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture says it will take over food inspections in Sedgwick County rather than renew its present contract with the City of Wichita as a cost-saving move.
Its present contract with the city expires March 31, and state inspectors will take over the work on April 1.
The Agriculture Department says doing its own food inspections is projected to save $125,000 the first year, and $190,000 the second year and the years beyond that. It plans to hire six state inspectors to handle the work.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced last week that it would move its offices from Topeka to Manhattan. Secretary of Agriculture Dale Rodman said officials at the Kansas State University Foundation made the suggestion.
While emergency management workers are preparing for snow and ice, state officials are urging water districts to update their plans for water conservation. All Kansas counties are under a drought emergency, and the drought is predicted to last into 2013. Kansas Water Office director Tracy Streeter says most of the state's public water supply systems already have conservation plans, but cities and rural water districts should update their drought plans based on their experiences this past year.