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K-State Today

February 28, 2019

Extension specialists develop urban-rural partnerships to improve water quality

Submitted by Melissa Harvey

A paper published in the February issue of the Journal of Extension shows that urban–rural partnerships are increasingly viewed as an important component of efforts to improve water quality at the watershed scale. The publication highlights the critical role of Extension specialists in developing these partnership programs, the success of which hinges on targeted BMP implementation and relationships with agricultural producers.

The paper was authored by K-State researchers Trisha Moore and Aleksey Sheshukov, along with KCARE watershed specialist Ron Graber. Titled "Integrating Watershed Management Across the Urban–Rural Interface: Opportunities for Extension Watershed Programs," the paper explores the potential to integrate the water quality efforts of urban and rural watershed stakeholders through an off-site BMP program, using a program currently in use by the City of Wichita as an example. Unlike existing off-site programs, which generally require off-site BMPs to be implemented within city jurisdictional boundaries, this program allows for off-site BMPs implemented by agricultural producers in priority areas of the Little Arkansas watershed upstream of the city.