A Water Usage and Conservation meeting was held Tuesday at Wichita’s Central Library, organized by the League of Women Voters. A three-member panel addressed questions about the future of Wichita's water supply including concerns about Cheney Reservoir.

Cheney provides 60 percent of the city's water supply and if the drought continues is projected to run dry by August 2015.

“We are going into a three year drought," says Ben Nelson, Strategic Services Manager for Wichita’s Public Works & Utilities Department.

The Wichita City Council approved funding Tuesday for two of the most heavily used municipal pools in Wichita. The pools must meet new ADA requirements.

College Hill pool on the east side of Wichita and Harvest on the west side will split $80,000 from the Capital Improvement Program to meet the new federal ADA standards. That's half of the funding, with the other 50 percent coming from the Department of Public Works and Utilities.

Brownback Praises Wichita's Water Plan

Mar 4, 2013

The Wichita Public Works and Water Utility staff made a presentation of their drought plan Friday to Gov. Sam Brownback's Drought Response Team.

The presentation in Topeka was a condensed version of the plan they presented to the Wichita City Council last Tuesday.

Gov. Brownback praised the Wichita plan and says it's a model that should be shared with other communities in Kansas.

The plan includes alternatives for reducing water demand and increasing water supply to address both the current drought and future needs.

 Updated: 9:00am

Senate President Wagle calls for further cuts to state budget; Gov. Brownback praises Wichita's water plan; Education is a hot topic at legislative forum; KS Cosmosphere build viewing room for space restoration work.

Kan. Senate Could Cut Gov's Budget

Leaders in the Kansas Senate say they'll pursue the budget cuts recommended by Gov. Sam Brownback. A Senate committee recently endorsed a plan that would cut income tax rates.


How Close Is Kansas To Another Dust Bowl?

Feb 7, 2013
USDAgov / Flickr

If Kansas' current drought continues through 2013, the severity of the water shortage may rival the bad years of the 1930s and '50s.

The drought is already causing problems and prompting Wichita city officials to think about water rationing.

The drought is bad by several measures. This year's winter wheat harvest will likely be well below normal, due to low rain during planting last fall.

For ranchers, there isn't as much grazing land, so they'll likely have to sell their cattle earlier at lower weights. And area rivers and streams are near record low levels.

KS Geological Survey To Check Well Water Levels

Dec 28, 2012

After the first of the year, the Kansas Geological Survey will sample wells in the western part of the state to check groundwater levels. In past years, water levels in some parts of Kansas have dropped significantly.

Brownie Wilson is with the Kansas Geological Survey. He says disappearing groundwater can have a financial impact on water users in Kansas.

"Usually what you see is the well yields start to suffer, and so those large volume demands that need a lot of water really quickly, those become uneconomical," says Brownie.

Legislators to propose oversight panel for KanCare; Huelskamp to open satellite office in Manhattan; 2 police officers dead in Topeka.

Legislators To Propose KanCare Oversight Panel

Kansas legislators are planning to introduce measures during the 2013 session to create oversight of the state's new KanCare Medicaid system.

House Representitive David Crum and Senator Mary Pilcher-Cook are expected to announce their plans Monday during a Statehouse news conference.

The Wichita City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve water and sewer rate increases effective next year.

On January 1, Wichita's residential customers will see their monthly bills increase $1.19 to $7.74 depending on how much water they use. Commercial and industrial customers will see a rate hike of around 7 percent.

Alan King, Director of Public Works and Utilities says the water rates will insure a level of funding for proper renewal and replacement of aging water mains.

Gov. Brownback Plans Conference On Future Of Water

Oct 29, 2012
USDAgov / Flickr

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is sponsoring a two-day event this week that his office is calling the state's first conference on the future of water.The event is scheduled to begin tomorrow in Manhattan and will include a speech from Brownback. Also on the agenda are U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas and Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Army Corps Of Engineers To Halt Some Water Releases

Jul 31, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will halt some water releases from three Kansas reservoirs next month. The Corps says they’ll stop releasing water from Tuttle Creek, Milford and Perry lakes. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts supports the move.

“I am pleased to report the Corps will stop releasing waters August 7th, and will not draw down an additional three feet from the reservoirs in October, despite the authority to do so,” Roberts said.