Gov. Jeff Colyer said the director of the Kansas Water Office since 2004 would step down in December.

On Friday, Colyer said Tracy Streeter would retire Dec. 14 about one month ahead of the transition to a new governor in January.

Streeter also serves as secretary of the Kansas Water Authority, and previously was at the State Conservation Commission.

"I’m proud of the many water accomplishments we’ve had over the years to help ensure Kansas’ water future," Streeter said. "While there is more to be done, I know the team is putting the needs of Kansans first, as water truly is our number one commodity in Kansas." 

Colyer said Streeter's vision and leadership on water policy left a positive impact on the state.

"I appreciate the time he devoted to solving our water issues, both surface and ground," Colyer said. 

In 2013, Streeter was placed in charge of then-Gov. Sam Brownback's campaign to develop strategies for extending life of the Ogallala Aquifer. Heavy irrigation of crops is depleting the underground reservoir and owners of water rights were asked to voluntarily restrict consumption as part of a 50-year vision for water.
 
Streeter has also been involved in development of experimental farms that demonstrate field-scale irrigation technology to conserve water.

Colyer appointed Earl Lewis as interim director of the Kansas Water Office. He's served as assistant director since 2007.

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