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Kevin Boatright
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“Water Issues in the West” to provide regional perspectives on interstate law and policy

Fri, 02/21/2014

LAWRENCE – A lively and timely discussion of water-related topics that affect Kansas, the Great Plains and the West is scheduled from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28 at the Lied Center Pavilion at the University of Kansas.  “Water Issues in the West: Regional Perspectives on Interstate Law and Policy” is sponsored by the KU Water Research Planning Committee, a group of faculty and staff working to increase collaborative science and policy research on water.  The program is free and open to the public, and an RSVP is requested at rgs@ku.edu.

Featured speakers will be Mike Hayden, former governor of Kansas and now executive director of the Missouri River Association of States and Tribes, and Burke Griggs, consulting professor for the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. 

“KU is in position to become nationally recognized in multidisciplinary research on the broad issues surrounding water,” said Jeffrey S. Vitter, provost and executive vice chancellor.  “A workshop last fall identified more than 150 KU researchers with an interest and expertise in some facet of water.  This spring, we continue to host a series of events designed to build a water research community at KU, which will benefit students at all levels and engage with both private and public partners.”

Hayden will offer a regional perspective on the Missouri River Basin and the effect it has on the Association States – including Kansas – as well as tribal nations politically, economically and societally.  He also will comment on the influence of multi-state and international agreements along the Colorado River and discuss whether lessons to be learned from these agreements can help influence and guide decisions within the Missouri River Basin. Hayden was the 41st governor of Kansas (1987-91) and also served as speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives and secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. 

Griggs will discuss how the boundaries of Kansas have influenced water decisions.  He will provide an interstate perspective on agreements that involve the Republican River and the Colorado River, asking whether there are lessons to be learned from these agreements that can help shape future water decisions.  As a special assistant attorney general, he represents Kansas in federal and interstate water matters, including litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court and the administration of Kansas’ four interstate water compacts.  Griggs received a law degree from KU, where he teaches natural resources law as an adjunct professor.

Brad Loveless, director of biology and conservation programs at Westar Energy and a member of the Kansas Water Authority, will serve as moderator for the program.  A reception will follow. Please RSVP by Feb. 26 at rgs@ku.edu.  More information about the KU Water Research Community  is available online.



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