Kansas Health Institute/File photo

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has declared a drought emergency, warning or watch across the entire state.

Colyer signed an executive order Tuesday following several weeks of abnormally dry conditions in all 105 counties.

He declared an emergency for 28 southern Kansas counties and a warning for 29 other counties in central and southern Kansas. The remaining 48 counties are under a drought watch.

The order directs state agencies to combat drought conditions.

AgriLife Today, flickr Creative Commons

The latest drought report shows that all of Kansas is drying out, with the southern parts of the state now being considered in extreme drought.

But what impact could this weather pattern have if it sticks around?

More than 50 percent of the state is currently seeing drought conditions, up from only 1.5 percent three months ago. And assistant state climatologist Mary Knapp says the outlook for the next three months isn't much better.

Kansas Drought-Free For The First Time Since 2011

Jun 3, 2016

Every county in Kansas is officially drought free for the first time since April of 2011. Gov. Brownback made the declaration in an executive order this morning. It corresponds with findings by the U.S. Drought Monitor, which recorded Kansas as drought free two weeks ago.


The month of March was short on moisture, and now drought is creeping across much of Kansas.

Assistant State Climatologist Mary Knapp says March is normally a wet month, so last month's dry conditions had a big impact.

“Because it's the start of our wetter pattern, things go down very, very quickly when we don't get what we should be seeing,” Knapp says. “If we are dry in April and May, then we are going to be increasingly in bad shape.”

Kansas Water Office

Recent rains have eased drought conditions in many areas in the state, leading Gov. Sam Brownback to update the Drought Declaration for Kansas counties.

Report: 69 Percent Of Kansas Under Moderate Drought

Apr 6, 2015

A new report issued by the National Drought Mitigation Center says 69 percent of Kansas is under a moderate drought, and 22 percent is under a severe drought.


The thunderstorm that took out trees and left thousands without power in Wichita last week brought a lot of wind and hail, but not a lot of rain, which won’t help the persistent droughts active throughout Kansas.

Source: U.S. Drought Monitor

Some areas of Kansas have seen four or more inches of rain in recent days, but that won't be enough to eliminate drought conditions in the state. As Stephen Koranda reports, rain in the coming weeks will play a critical role in determining whether the drought stays or goes.

djmcaleese / flickr Creative Commons

Yesterday afternoon Wichita’s Public Works & Utilities Department gave a presentation on the future of water supply in the area. City Council members were in attendance and ideas concerning both conservation, as well as new sources of water, were discussed.

Wichita’s Public Works Director Alan King presented a power point demonstration about what could be done to sure up the city’s water supply until the year 2060. King’s model included five plans that he said take into consideration both effectiveness and the city’s budget.

The drought that has been gripping parts of Kansas appears to be easing.

Just a few months ago, about 97 percent of Kansas was considered to be experiencing drought conditions. Now, much of central and eastern Kansas is back to normal. That's according to Mary Knapp, with Kansas State University, who called the turnaround "exceptional."

“In central and southeastern Kansas we’ve actually gone from drought to deluge. We’ve got a number of locations that have seen incredible amounts of rain in the last three weeks,” Knapp said.

U.S. Geological Survey

The Kansas Water Office is promoting Water Alert, a service that brings instant, customized updates about water conditions to Kansas residents.

The U.S. Geological Survey created Water Alert to give people timely information about river, lake and groundwater conditions. It's a nationwide service, but there are over a dozen data collection stations in the Wichita area alone.