Because two years of drought have lowered water levels at Cheney Reservoir, Wichita officials are thinking about bringing back water restrictions.
Wichita hasn't placed water restrictions on residents since the early 1990s. However, the continued drought has lowered water levels at Cheney reservoir by 40 percent. Wichita has been drawing up to 75 percent of its water from Cheney Reservoir since 1993. The rest comes from groundwater north of the city.
A bacterial disease more commonly seen in the dry Southwest is infecting a large number of horses in Kansas.
Veterinarians at Kansas State University blame the outbreak of pigeon fever on the persistent drought and this year's unusually hot summer.
Professor of equine medicine Laurie Beard says pigeon fever is painful for horses but not usually fatal. The disease causes muscles abscesses, most commonly in the pectoral muscles. That gives an infected horse a pigeon-like swollen chest. Pigeon fever is caused by bacteria found in soil.
While emergency management workers are preparing for snow and ice, state officials are urging water districts to update their plans for water conservation.
All Kansas counties are under a drought emergency, and the drought is predicted to last into 2013.
Kansas Water Office director Tracy Streeter says most of the state's public water supply systems already have conservation plans, but cities and rural water districts should update their drought plans based on their experiences this past year.