Kansas governor approves drought declaration for all counties

Kansas farmers say they're concerned about the future of their crops if the drought continues...
Kansas farmers say they're concerned about the future of their crops if the drought continues in the central and western parts of the state.(KWCH)
Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 12:04 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (KWCH) - Governor Laura Kelly approved updated drought declarations for all Kansas counties on Monday. Executive Order #22-06 places all of the state’s 105 counties either in a watch, warning or emergency status for drought.

“A significant portion of the state of Kansas has experienced drought or abnormally dry conditions for the past several months,” said Governor Kelly. “Unfortunately, these conditions are forecast to persist or get worse, so I strongly encourage Kansans to be mindful of drought conditions while we work to minimize the threat of fires across the state.”

The drought declaration placed 34 counties into an emergency status, 8 counties in a warning status and 63 into a watch status. This action was recommended by Connie Owen, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team.

On June 27, 2022, Governor Laura Kelly issued a drought disaster declaration for all 105 Kansas...
On June 27, 2022, Governor Laura Kelly issued a drought disaster declaration for all 105 Kansas counties.(State of Kansas)

Although most of Kansas has experienced high precipitation this past month, a record-breaking heat wave has been making its way across the state. While most of eastern Kansas is currently drought free, state officials believe the forecasted hot and dry conditions will likely lead to rapid and intensified drought conditions in portions of the Midwest over the next few weeks.

“We have watched drought conditions in parts of the state continue to get worse since this past fall or longer in some areas, causing concern with groundwater supplies, crop production, elevated wildfire risk and more,” said Owen. “The Governor’s Drought Response Team will continue to monitor the situation and make recommendations to the Governor as necessary.

As future outlooks call for hot and dry conditions to continue into July, the potential for a “flash drought” is likely.” Through an interagency agreement between the Kansas Water Office, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Kansas Division of Emergency Management, counties in emergency stage are eligible for emergency use of water from certain state fishing lakes. These counties also become eligible for water in some federal reservoirs.

Individuals and communities need to contact the Kansas Water Office for a water supply request prior to any withdrawals from lakes. These requests will in turn be referred to the appropriate office to obtain necessary permits to withdraw requested water.

The executive order will remain in effect until it is rescinded by a new executive order.

County Drought Stage Declarations:

Drought Emergency: Cheyenne, Clark, Comanche, Decatur, Edwards, Finney, Ford, Gove, Graham, Grant, Gray, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kiowa, Lane, Logan, Meade, Morton, Ness, Norton, Rawlins, Scott, Seward, Sheridan, Sherman, Stanton, Stevens, Thomas, Trego, Wallace, Wichita.

Drought Warning: Barber, Ellis, Pawnee, Phillips, Pratt, Rooks, Rush, Stafford.

Drought Watch: Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Barton, Bourbon, Brown, Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Cloud, Coffey, Cowley, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellsworth, Franklin, Geary, Greenwood, Harper, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Jewell, Johnson, Kingman, Labette, Leavenworth, Lincoln, Linn, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Miami, Mitchell, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Osborne, Ottawa, Pottawatomie, Reno, Republic, Rice, Riley, Russell, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, Woodson, Wyandotte.

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