To the editor:
I share Gov. Graves' and Sen. Roberts' concern about the Corps of Engineers reducing the levels in some Kansas lakes to provide a little more water volume for Missouri River barge traffic. It is a bad, shortsighted idea, especially in the midst of a serious drought. However, I have a different view of the causes and effects of this move. Maybe this is how the Corps views the situation.
The governor and senator are the chief stewards of our natural resources and should be counted on to protect our water from threats from within and from without. The facts are clear. The precious Oglalla aquifer is being depleted at an alarming rate by a few greedy irrigators. Kansas rivers have some of the worst water quality in the country due to toxic farm runoff and alarming levels of fecal coliform bacteria from municipal waste overburdening. Our two heros can only provide some lip service about the problem and call for still more studies on the problem. Yes, fellows, Rome is indeed burning fiercely. Since Big Agriculture has put these two politicians in this position it is a lot like the foxes guarding the chicken coop.
Through the state's inaction to meet the Federal Water Quality Act of 1994 and generally thumb their collective nose at real reform we become ripe to have this water taken away, obviously we don't care about it. If Kansas were a state where the people demanded and worked toward an effective clean water policy the Corps would not have initiated this harebrained idea in the first place. If we don't take care of our resources then someone will take them away from us.