The K-State Extension Watershed Specialist model is a proactive, multi-agency, private-public partnership. To restore water quality in Kansas requires a fundamental change in behavior and practices toward the land and water. It is a monumental task which requires facilitation from unique people with expertise in the area of agriculture and water with the ablity to build a rapport with landowners.
Meet Ron Graber, one of KCARE's five watershed specialists. Ron assists producers and landowners in central Kansas, where he supports programs that reduce atrazine in the water and a special urban-rural partnership with the City of Wichita to decrease sediment in the Little Arkansas River.
We work to reduce non-point source pollution from cropland and livestock sources. Our priorities include
- restoration of impaired water resources (TMDLs)
- abatement of fecal coliform bacteria, atrazine and pesticides
- reduced nutrients and sediment loads
- protection of water resources
- implementing farmer/producer Best Management Practices (BMPs)
Can a Watershed Specialist Help Me?
Historically, specialists have provided assistance to producers and various WRAPS groups in 70 Kansas counties. In 2019, the watershed specialists' designated areas changed as KDHE converted many WRAPS projects to a Partnership Grant. For the most part, only active WRAPS projects have "purchased" time with watershed specialists for technical assitance. However, the specialists can and do work outside these areas as deemed necessary.
Contact one of KCARE's watershed specialists to determine if they can help you.