Despite recent rains for many areas of the state, drought conditions continue to worsen, prompting the governor to issue a new drought declaration.

The declaration places all 105 counties in either an emergency, warning or watch status, with nearly half of Kansas counties in an emergency drought status.

“I’ve heard many concerns from producers and have seen the conditions first hand,” said Gov. Jeff Colyer in a news release. “We appreciate our federal partners at the Natural Resources Conservation Service as well as the Kansas Association of Conservation Districts— when we asked them to identify additional sources of assistance they responded quickly to help producers address these extreme drought conditions.”

Tracy Streeter, Director of the Kansas Water Office and Chair of the Governor’s Drought Response Team, recommended the updated drought declaration.

"With reported livestock water shortages, low flows at some of our reservoirs and monthly outlooks favoring persistent drought, we know it’s imperative to monitor conditions closely,” Streeter stated. “Some areas of Kansas are behind more than 15 inches in moisture for the year and outlooks favor above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation in July.”

Counties in an emergency stage are eligible for emergency use of water from certain state fishing lakes due to the KWO Memorandum of Understanding with the Kansas Department of Wildlife. They also become eligible for water in some Federal reservoirs.

Individuals and communities need to contact KWO for a water supply request before any withdrawals from lakes. They will, in turn, be referred to the appropriate office to obtain the necessary permit to withdraw the water.

For more detailed information about current conditions, see the Kansas Climate Summary and Drought Report on the Kansas Water Office website at www.kwo.ks.gov.

Counties in The News coverage area designated under a Drought Emergency include Barber, Barton, Clark, Comanche, Edwards, Ellsworth, Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Hamilton, Harper, Harvey, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Kingman, Kiowa, Marion, McPherson, Meade, Morton, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, Seward, Stafford, Stanton and Stevens.

Areas counties in a Drought Warning include Ellis, Lane, Ness, Russell, Scott and Wichita.