A piece of farming equipment in a field of crops

Kansas researchers tackle crop production as national assessment warns changing climate can damage agriculture

BY: - December 6, 2023

TOPEKA — Kansas State University researchers have been given millions in funding to study ways to increase crop yields as national reports warn of worsening agricultural conditions in the Midwest.  Kansas State University researchers will collaborate with other U.S. Corn Belt universities on research meant to bolster understanding of how agricultural practice impacts local environmental […]

Gov. Laura Kelly's task force report on the growing threat of wildfire proposed about $12 million in funding to improve prevention and response activities along with about 30 recommendations for reducing the threat to life and property from grassland and forest fires. (Kansas Reflector screen capture from Kansas Governor's Wildfire Task Force Report)

Kansas task force’s report set to ignite debate about improving wildfire prevention, response

BY: - December 1, 2023

Gov. Laura Kelly's task force report issued 30 recommendations and proposed earmarking $12 million to preventing and responding to wildfire disasters.

An individual holds a lead pipe, a steel pipe and a lead pipe treated with protective orthophosphate. The Environmental Protection Agency is only now requiring water systems to inventory their lead pipes decades after new ones were banned. (Environmental Protection Agency)

Kansas and Missouri have 256,000 lead pipes. EPA wants them removed within 10 years.

BY: - December 1, 2023

Utilities in Kansas and Missouri would have to pull hundreds of thousands of lead pipes out of the ground within 10 years under a proposed rule the Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday. The EPA announced a proposed update to the lead and copper rule strengthening President Joe Biden’s earlier goal of eradicating lead pipes. The […]

Kansas Rural Center policy analyst Paul Johnson

Kansas advocates plant seeds of new farm bill addressing needs of diverse agricultural economy

BY: - November 27, 2023

Kansas Farmers Union and Kansas Rural Center advocates looking for 2024 debate on farm bill emphasizing farm conservation, nutrition and equity.

A time exposure at the Lower Fox Creek School at the National Tallgrass Prairie Preserve

As the year burns to a close, be unafraid to ponder hard questions. Answers may be in the asking.

BY: - November 26, 2023

There’s a little candle in a glass jar on the table where Kim and I have just finished our Thanksgiving dinner. The flame flutters as she clears some plates, and the room is suffused with the subtle aroma of spiced apples, just as promised on the candle’s package. It’s a cheerful touch that unexpectedly becomes […]

Kids jump on a trampoline as steam rises from a coal power plant

Pollution from coal plants contributes to far more deaths than scientists realized, study shows

BY: - November 25, 2023

Air pollution particles from coal-fired power plants are more harmful to human health than many experts realized, and it’s more than twice as likely to contribute to premature deaths as air pollution particles from other sources, new research demonstrates. In the study, published in the journal Science, colleagues and I mapped how U.S. coal power plant emissions […]

A flock of green-winged teal settle on the marsh at Quivira National Wildlife Refuge.

State funding set aside for Kansas River trash removal, high-risk dam repairs

BY: - November 22, 2023

TOPEKA — The Kansas Department of Agriculture gives a dam.  The department has been allocated $10 million in funding for several state water projects, including dam rehabilitation and repair and irrigation technology improvements. About $7 million of the funding will go toward projects in eastern Stafford County, where the Rattlesnake Creek and Quivira National Wildlife […]

Vijay Ramasamy appears for a Nov. 7, 2023, recording of the Kansas Reflector podcas

Governor’s new adviser on Kansas water crisis working to influence policy talks

BY: - November 20, 2023

Hiring a dedicated staff member to advise Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly on water is a move meant to bring the often-siloed issue front and center, said Vijay Ramasamy, who started the job this fall. “My job is to make water central to a lot of our conversations,” Ramasamy said on the Kansas Reflector podcast. Ramasamy, […]

Silver carp jumping in Fox River

Nebraska plan to divert water could put destructive carp in Kansas lakes

BY: - November 15, 2023

Back in the 1970s, in an attempt to control algal blooms in wastewater treatment plants and aquafarming ponds, managers imported four species of Asian carp. Unfortunately — as with many well-intentioned plans that tamper with ecosystems — the carp were inadvertently released or escaped through flood events, and quickly spread to wreak havoc in nearby […]

Why a ‘Super El Niño’ could help drought-stricken Kansas, Missouri this winter

BY: - November 13, 2023

The phrase “El Niño” can conjure up images of horrendous weather: severe storms in the southern U.S. and droughts in Asia and Africa. But for Kansas and Missouri, El Niño, a months-long weather pattern that typically brings warm winters and extra precipitation to the central U.S., brings hope.  Both states have been stuck in a […]

Kansas has $25 million to plug abandoned gas wells that can leak methane, polluting water and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. (Getty Images)

Kansas abandoned wells project reinvigorated, but thousands left to plug

BY: - November 7, 2023

TOPEKA — The state’s efforts to plug abandoned wells are back on track after delays in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to project coordinators.  Ryan Hoffman, conservation division director with the Kansas Corporation Commission, updated lawmakers on the well situation during a Tuesday legislative meeting. The Kansas Corporation Commission oversees the well plugging […]

John Podesta, senior adviser to the president on clean energy innovation and implementation, alongside Robin Carnahan, administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration, unveil a new $2 billion investment in construction projects to combat the climate crisis

In Kansas, federal officials unveil $2 billion initiative to cut down carbon in federal buildings

BY: - November 6, 2023

TOPEKA — Standing outside the Frank Carlson Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse on Monday, two members of the Biden administration announced a $2 billion investment for making federal buildings more eco-friendly in the latest federal attempt to combat the climate crisis. John Podesta, senior adviser to the president on clean energy innovation and implementation, and […]