Equus Bed aquifer

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Kansas’ main water resource is depleting faster than it can be refilled—but we as consumers have a significant stake in conserving what’s there. That’s the takeaway of a new Exploration Place exhibit that looks at the High Plains aquifer, and our relationship to it. KMUW’s Nadya Faulx takes us along on a tour.

Courtesy: U.S. Geological Survey

According to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey, the quality of Wichita’s water supply has not substantially changed as a result of activities to recharge the Equus Beds aquifer, one of the primary water sources for Wichita.

The Kansas Geological Survey says average groundwater levels are still declining in western Kansas, but at a slower rate.

The agency released preliminary data yesterday from the measurements of some 1,400 water wells taken earlier this year.

Most of the wells draw from the High Plains aquifer, which includes the Equus Beds and Great Bend Prairie aquifer in south-central Kansas and the Ogallala aquifer in western Kansas.

Water levels declined an average of 0.87 feet in 2014, a slower rate than the drop in 2013.

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.