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Posted on: March 28, 2019

Hays Receives Water Conservation Award / R9 Master Order Issued

HAYS – The City Commission of Hays, Kansas, has been chosen by the WaterNow Alliance as a recipient of WaterNow Alliance 2019 Impact Award.

According to Cynthia Koehler, Executive Director of the WaterNow Alliance, the Impact Award is designed to honor local water leaders who have shown exemplary initiative in advancing sustainable, affordable and equitable water strategies with meaningful impact at the community or regional level. This Award honors the Commission’s vision and leadership in becoming the water conservation leader in the state of Kansas, bringing local consumption down to 93 gallons per person per day, the lowest statewide and indeed substantially less than municipalities across the nation.

The Impact Award also recognizes the Commission’s dedication to long-term environmental sustainability in its commitment to manage the water resources of the R9 Ranch to protect the long-term integrity of the local aquifer. Hays Mayor Henry Schwaller noted that the award is due to the hard work of the entire community. “For over 25 years, Hays residents have incorporated water conservation in their homes and yards, making our community one of the lowest water users in Kansas. We take conservation seriously, and will continue to do so in the future.”

The WaterNow Alliance is a forum for local water leaders who want to champion sustainable, affordable and climate-resilient water strategies. More information can be found at: https://waternow.org/

Hays officials were notified March 27th that the Chief Engineer of the Division of Water Resources has issued the Master Order for the R9 Ranch development. The Master Order is the culmination of a 4-year process to convert the water rights from irrigation to municipal use. Hays and Russell filed change applications in 2015. The next step in the development of the R9 as a long-term water supply for the region is the Water Transfer Act. This process is expected to take 18-24 months to complete. 

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