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Eastern Kansas facing its own water supply shortages

LAWRENCE (AP) — While most discussion about water shortages in Kansas focuses on western parts of the state, officials say the eastern region also needs to address looming water shortages.

The state is planning a $20 million project to dredge sediment from the John Redmond Reservoir near Burlington. But researchers say by the end of the century, the state’s 24 federal reservoirs will have lost more than half their original capacity, and dredging won’t be possible.

The Lawrence Journal-World reported Gov. Sam Brownback has directed state agencies to develop a 50-year plan for sustaining the state’s water resources. Much of the work so far has been on western Kansas, where the Ogallala Aquifer is a primary source of water. The aquifer is rapidly being depleted, mostly by irrigation.

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