Governor Kelly Creates Water Subcabinet to Drive Collaborative Solutions

Governor Laura Kelly announced today that she has formed the Kansas Water Subcabinet to formalize cross-agency coordination, collaboration, and planning on the state’s water quantity and quality priorities. Creating the subcabinet provides an efficient and practical internal forum for experts across several agencies to discuss water-related data and policy and strengthen state government initiatives on emerging and long-term water issues.

“My administration has been laser-focused on finding and implementing sustainable solutions to address our state’s water concerns,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This subcabinet ensures we are all pulling in the same direction in those efforts and building an all-of-government approach to water issues.”

The Kansas Water Subcabinet will be managed by the Governor’s Special Advisor on Water, and its permanent members will include representatives from the Kansas Water Office, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

“Our state’s agricultural and rural economy is fueled by water, which is why our stakeholders often point to long-term water management as one of the state’s most critical challenges,” Kansas Agriculture Secretary Mike Beam said. “I’m looking forward to enhancing the collaboration among state officials with an active Water Subcabinet.”

The group’s tasks could include developing cross-agency goals and strategies on Kansas’ long-term water quantity and quality issues, strengthening service delivery of the state’s water grants and programs, and responding to upcoming and short-term water-related issues while strategizing preventative measures. The subcabinet will also prioritize securing federal or private funding opportunities across agencies to leverage the state’s historic recent investments in the Kansas Water Plan.

“Our state’s water challenges are daunting and complex, making it essential that we marshal the expertise and advice of all our water agencies,” Connie Owen, Director of the Kansas Water Office, said. “The Water Subcabinet can provide the critical experience, knowledge, data, and context necessary to help the state ensure a safe and secure water supply for Kansans.”

The subcabinet will meet regularly and will provide monthly updates to the governor.