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Source: Debbie Hagenmaier, 785-532-2560,
Web site:
News release prepared by: Rosanna Vail, 785-532-2720,

Thursday, March 5, 2009


MANHATTAN -- "Assessing Impacts" is the theme of the 26th annual Water and the Future of Kansas Conference Thursday, March 26, in Topeka.

The conference will be in the Maner Conference Center at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. Sponsors are K-State's Kansas Water Resources Institute and Kansas Center for Agricultural Resources and the Environment, K-State Research and Extension, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Winnie Gerbens-Leenes of the University of Twente in the Netherlands will be a featured speaker at the conference. Gerbens-Leenes works in the water management group of A.Y. Hoekstra, who developed the "water footprint" concept. Gerbens-Leenes has published research on the impact of energy systems on water. Using the concept and methodology of the water footprint, the focus of her research is on the relationship of water and biomass production.

Conference plenary topics include: Impacts of a New Administration: Challenges and Opportunities for Water Quantity and Quality; Impacts of Climate Change; The Water-Energy Nexus: Report to the National Academy of Sciences; and The Water Footprint of Energy from Biomass.

Panels and town hall meetings will address the impacts of biofuels production on water, conservation practices on soil and water, climate change, and aging infrastructure.

Afternoon concurrent sessions will target the impacts of nutrient and sediment loading in streams; 20 years of progress in subsurface drip irrigation; policy impacts; Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies case studies; challenges for water resources management, challenges and opportunities for Kansas Groundwater Management Districts; and Kansas Water Research Institute-funded research.

The conference's $75 registration fee includes lunch, refreshments, poster session and conference proceedings. The pre-registration deadline is March 12. The fee after March 12 is $100. Full-time undergraduate students may attend for $25. Registration is available online at or by calling the K-State Division of Continuing Education conference registration office at 785-532-5569.