Updated drought map released for Kansas

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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has issued a proclamation approving updated drought declarations for the state.

The governor said in a press release that while drought conditions have improved in some areas of the state, many counties continue to be negatively impacted by the decline in water supply or strains on water resources.  She is strongly encouraging Kansas residents to continue to conserve water over the summer months.

The drought declaration placed four counties into emergency status, 35 into warning status, and 66 into watch status. This action was recommended by Connie Owen, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team. While eastern Kansas has seen significant relief from drought since March, central and western Kansas has declined rapidly into Severe and, in a few counties, Extreme Drought.

The counties in emergency status are Hodgeman, Ness, Pawnee and Rush counties.

The counties under a drought warning include Sedgwick, Reno, Kingman, Harper, Harvey, Sumner, Barber, McPherson and Pratt counties.

The counties in a watch status include Butler, Cowley, Chase, Marion, Greenwood, Elk and Chautauqua counties.

Owen said in a press release, “The counties in a watch status are experiencing conditions that indicate the probability of a water shortage is rising. It is important to monitor these conditions and be mindful of water usage in these counties. Summer has arrived, and with it, higher temperatures and a decrease in precipitation. The Governor’s Drought Response Team will continue to monitor the drought conditions across Kansas and make recommendations to Governor Kelly as conditions change.”

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