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.

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.

City Officials: The Drought Is Over

Aug 9, 2013

City of Wichita officials announced Friday the drought that threatened the area’s water supply the two past summers and heightened conservation efforts is officially over.

In a release Friday, the city reports Cheney Lake, the city’s primary water source, reached full capacity in the early hours of Thursday from 73.6 percent on July 29. Earlier this year, the lake was as low as 58 percent capacity, causing city officials to encourage conservation efforts through a media campaign, a rebate program and other measures aimed at extending the area’s water supply.

Rain Brings Needed Relief To Kansas Crops

Jul 30, 2013

A new government report shows recent rain and cooler temperatures are relieving the stress on Kansas farm crops.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reports that producers in many areas of central Kansas saw beneficial amounts of rain in the past week.

Central Kansas had the biggest improvement in topsoil moisture, although eastern and western sections also showed some improvement. Topsoil moisture is still in short supply across 56 percent of Kansas.

Despite Recent Rains, Kansas Crops and Pastures Suffer

Jul 23, 2013

Spotty rain showers across much of the state this week were too little to improve drought conditions in western Kansas.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that dryland farm crops and pastures are still suffering from lack of rain. The agency said it has received reports of failed corn and sorghum crops in areas missed by the rain, as well as fields damaged by hail or wind.

The city of Wichita unveiled Thursday a $1 million rebate program to continue to encourage residents to conserve water. The program starts Monday and runs through December 31.