Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008 - (Page 44)

Making a Difference by BEING INVOLVED BY U.S. REPRESENTATIVE TODD TIAHRT I WAS VERY pleased to speak at the 2008 Annual Conference of the Kansas Rural Water Association. I appreciate this opportunity to submit my remarks for those who could not attend. Over the years, Elmer Ronnebaum and the association have helped me keep my staff informed about water-related issues important to our state and our region. You know Congress deals with a lot of issues every year. In fact, every new Congress, which is every two years, we have more than 8,000 legislative items to consider when you add all the bills, amendments, resolutions, and things we do on the floor of the House. I cannot possibly keep track of all that information, so I need groups like the Kansas Rural Water Association and people like Elmer to come and tell me when something that affects all of us in rural Kansas is occurring. I don’t want to get blindsided and I know that you guys want somebody on your side as well. I want to tell you that I know from personal experience how critical access to rural water is. I lived in west Sedgwick County and in part of Sedgwick County Rural Water District No. 4. When I fi rst moved out there I didn’t have access to rural water, in fact we were just working together with an engineer at Boeing named Carl Kroger. Carl was essential and instrumental to Water District No. 4, and he was my contact when we went through the process of all the hearings, of raising money and of looking at the estimates and doing all the work. I was very glad to play an active role. When we moved out there, my beautiful wife had some concerns about how the hard water did different things to her hair, things she did not like. Her hair got larger, and so she said, “We’ve got to have a better water softener.” And so we called up a local Culligan man, and he came out and he says, “Where’s your water sample?” I gave him it to him. And he sampled it and said, “Where did you get this water?” And I said, “Right over here, out of this tap.” And he replied, “This goes off my charts.” He started talking about the grains of hardness. At that time Wichita water was around nine grains of hardness. According to his schedule, ours was over 160. So I was very glad when we dug that trench through my front drive to my basement, where I 44 • Third Quarter 2008 drilled a hole through my house, let a few snakes in, and got rural water that we still enjoy today. Not everyone is aware of how important water is in rural areas, as everyone in my family knows. We have families in Kansas who do not have access to dependable water. And we want to keep Kansas open and beautiful, but still we want to make sure that we don’t discourage people from living in rural areas because they don’t have access to water. 2007 was a rough year for Kansas. We had all of our 105 counties declared as federal disaster areas due to winter storms at the beginning and end of a tragic year that included the tornadoes in Greensburg and other towns, and horrible flooding down in southeast Kansas. Kansas Rural Water Association was always there to help, especially at Greensburg and at last

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008
From the President
From Hypo to Gas - A Forward Leap
If You Lose All Your Data Today... Would You Still Be in Business Tomorrow?
Weaving the Wireless Web
Rural Water and the Farm Bill
Ensuring Your Water System's Security
Guarding Against Becoming a Victim of Fraud
10 Ways to Improve Utility Efficiency
New Technology
Making a Difference By Being Involved
Regulatory Update
Source Water Protection Corner
Throwing My Loop
Cub Scouts Visit Alliance of Indiana Rural Water's Spring Conference
Index to Advertisers
From the CEO

Rural Water - Quarter 3, 2008