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Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
3/28/11 ReportPosted Monday, March 28, 2011, at 9:49 AM
Many of you may recall the persistent drought we had in Southeast Missouri last year. It was a long, dry summer, and the rain that fell wasn't significant enough to even soften the ground. Our farmers started irrigating their crops early, and some even irrigated in order to germinate their seed. During times like these, I am thankful that we sit on an abundant water supply.
Water is a basic element for sustaining our rural way of life. From industrial uses to agriculture, water is an integral ingredient for ensuring the success of the Bootheel. As last year's drought showed, our very economy is dependent on a consistent and plentiful supply of water.
Ensuring the availability of water in the 163rd District is one of my highest priorities. That is why I filed HB 858. HB 858 protects the Southeast Missouri Regional Water District, which consists of Dunklin, Butler, Stoddard, Pemiscot, New Madrid, Mississippi and Scott counties.
HB 858 protects the district by prohibiting large water users, those pumping over 100,000 gallons a day, from diverting water out of the district when doing so would interfere with the reasonable and beneficial uses within the district.
This is important for maintaining an ample supply of water in our area for years to come. Whether our large users are farmers or industry, our water usage activities return a significant percentage of water used back to its source, but an industry diverting water outside of the district replenishes the supply outside of the district while diminishing our supply.
My bill gives the Attorney General the authority to stop someone from diverting water. If a large user diverts water out of the district, then the Attorney General or parties affected can file an injunction against the large user.
Protecting the water supply for our farmers, industries along with our consumer base in Southeast Missouri is one key to growing our economy in the near future. We are blessed that we don't live in a part of the country where water is scarce. However, we need to take measures now to protect our supply for the future. HB 858 will go far in reaching our goal of maintaining a consistent and plentiful flow of water in the 163rd District.
On a different note, I would like to congratulate Flo Bennett on winning one of only 10 "Senior Service Awards" given out by Lt. Governor Peter Kinder's office. Earlier in the session, a call was sent out to all legislators asking for nominations. Flo was one of three names that I submitted.
The Senior Service Awards were started to promote the positive accomplishments of our senior citizens. To qualify, the nominee must be 60 years old and volunteer at least 40 hours per year in their community.
Flo, who lives in the Malden area, is one of our special citizens. She works tirelessly on Mardi Gras every year, and people from across the state come and enjoy the fruits of her labor.
Flo consistently works to beautify her church, First Southern Baptist in Malden. She changes the décor based on the seasons and special events. The beauty is spectacular, and the presence of the year is felt by all who attend services.
Flo also plants flowers at the entrances to Malden and makes wreaths for the city's Christmas celebration. She takes great care in making Malden a beautiful place to call home.
Everybody appreciates all of the hard work Flo puts in to make Malden a better place to live.
I just want to say Thank You, Flo. You are most deserving of this distinguished honor. Flo will be invited to the Capitol for a ceremony with all of the award winners from around the state. When details of this event becomes available, I will let you know.
As always, it is an honor to serve you in the Missouri House. If you would like to discuss any issue, please call 573-751-3629. You can also email me at Kent.Hampton@house.mo.gov. I look forward to hearing from you.
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