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Facts
Usage of Water
Consumers
Water Management
Threats and Hazards
Water Quality
Water Quantity
Additional Links

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FACTS

Size: The Kansas-Lower Republican covers nearly 10,500 square miles of northeastern Kansas.  The basin includes all or part of 24 counties. 

Population: The basin has the largest population of all the twelve major river basins, with an estimated 1,025,644 residents in the year 2000.  The population is projected to grow to nearly 1,531,000 in the year 2040. 

 Flow: Major streams are the Kansas, Republican, Big Blue, Little Blue, Delaware and Wakarusa rivers, and the Vermillion and Stranger creeks. 

Information on water levels in the river basin click on the following website: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ks/nwis/rt

Reservoirs: The major reservoirs in the basin are Lovewell, Milford, Tuttle Creek, Perry and Clinton.

The lakes are operated and maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers and the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Hydro/lake_maps.html

Topography and Soil: Most of the bottom land and about 50 percent of the uplands are cultivated to crops of corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, wheat and oats.  Alfalfa, wild hay, corn and sorghum silage are the major forage crops.  The most important mineral resources in the basin are oil, natural gas, coal, building stone and ceramic materials. The topography in the basin varies from flat, undulating plains of slight relief to rolling uplands and, in places, steep bluffs and hills. Wide extremes in temperature and precipitation are characteristic.  The length of the growing season typically extends from mid April to mid October.Average annual precipitation over the basin increases from about 28 inches in the west to about 38 inches in the east.  Typically, about 70 percent of this total falls during the growing season.  Flood events, such as in July 1993 and the drought experienced from 1952-1956, underscore the variability in precipitation.

 

Economy: The economy of the basin is dependent on agriculture, education, industry and government.  Crops grown include wheat, corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, forage sorghum, alfalfa and sunflower.  Irrigation is widespread and extremely important to the area economics.  Livestock production is an important part of the area’s agriculture.  Beef cattle are the predominant livestock raised in the basin.  Topeka, the state capitol, and both KSU and KU are located in this basin.

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Usage of Water

Sources of water used in the basin is 58 percent surface and 42 percent ground water.  Irrigation is the largest water use in the basin (54%) followed by municipal at 30 percent.  Industrial uses account for 3 percent of water used.

For more information on water use in the Lower Republican basin follow the USGS link on water use in Kansas 2004: http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2004/3133/#N10048

http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/studies/wateruse/

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CONSUMERS

Agriculture

Irrigation accounted for 54 percent of all reported water usage (1997). 

Industry

Industry accounted for 3 percent.  

Municipal

Municipal accounted and recreational use accounted for 30 percent of water used in the basin

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Water Management

The Republican River Compact is an important water management force in the basin.  The Republican River Compact, established between Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska in 1943, apportioned the waters of the Republican River among the three states.  Over the past decade, Kansas has expressed concern to the compact administration about depletion of stream flow and Nebraska’s failure to comply with the compact.  After attempts to resolve the issue through the compact commission and direct meetings with the State of Nebraska, the 1998 Kansas Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution #5030 requiring the Attorney General to bring suit against the State of Nebraska to enforce the provisions of the Republican River Compact.  Kansas initiated litigation through the United States Supreme Court in May 1998.

Conservation Districts are part of a nationwide grass roots organization made up of people that collectively promote the wise management of our natural resources for sustained use. There are 105 Conservation Districts across Kansas, one for each county in Kansas. Each district is lead by a board of five supervisors that are locally elected. These supervisors are not paid for their service on the board.

Each conservation district has developed programs aimed to address priority concerns for their county. If you own land in Kansas, it is best to contact the district in the county you own the land. This will insure you the best in assistance and knowledge of local conditions.  http://www.cjnetworks.com/~sccdistrict/dist_ks.htm

Groundwater

Ground water is used predominantly for irrigation and livestock usage in the basin. http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2004/3133/#N1003A

 

USGS Fact Sheet 090-99
April 1999

Download this fact sheet as a PDF file (218 KB)

Prepared in cooperation with the
KANSAS WATER OFFICE

 

Reservoirs:  The major reservoirs in the basin are Lovewell, Milford, Tuttle Creek, Perry and Clinton. The Kansas Water Office maintains reservoir accounting information for each of the federal lakes in which the state owns storage space.  Information such as inflow, releases, losses, and water in storage for each of the subpools within the conservation pool for each lake will be posted by the 20th day following each calendar month.  Watch this site for other lakes in the near future. 

The Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the operation of Melvern, Hillsdale and Pomona and lakes is an important water manager in the basin.  To contact the Army Corps of Engineers see the following: http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/regulatory/boundary.htm

 

 

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Threats and Hazards

Quality

Ground Water (subsurface) 

Ground water of the Flint Hills region generally has high total dissolved solids and high total hardness concentrations.

Surface Water Quality Not particularly good.        

Reservoir Quality:    Not good

Solutions to Surface water pollution:

·         KSU:  Use of riparian boundaries to enhance water quality: http://www.k-state.edu/waterlink/Graphics/Reports/MF2489.pdf

·         KSU: riparian buffer maintence: http://www.k-state.edu/waterlink/Graphics/Reports/Riparian%20Buffer%20Maintenance.pdf

·         KSU bioretention: http://www.k-state.edu/waterlink/Graphics/Reports/Bioretention.pdf

·         USGS water quality information about all Kansas reservoirs http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/waterdata/climate/reservoir.html

·         To read about the Nebraska/Kansas watershed projects visit this link: http://douglas-sarpy.unl.edu/cl/2006_spring_news.shtml

 

 

 

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 WATER QUALITY

Each Public Water System should provide a Consumer Confidence Report of water quality to the KDHE and the EPA:

Information about Kansas public water supplies can be found at:

To find out what is in your local drinking water follow the websites below:
Drill down’ from the top using EPA websites that follow:

 

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WATER QUANTITY

Groundwater:

For current information about groundwater levels and water rights, see the WIMAS website: http://hercules.kgs.ku.edu/geohydro/wimas/index.cfm  OR

http://hercules.kgs.ku.edu/geohydro/wimas/query_setup.cfm

Surface Water

Streams:

Flood and Drought Information:

  For real time water levels on the Lower Arkansas River click on the following website:  http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ks/nwis/rt

 USGS monthly water flow: real time    http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/history/kswater.hist.html

NOAA advance prediction service for MDC river http://www.crh.noaa.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=top&gage=qnmk1&view=1,1,1,1,1,1

Drought Assessment:

Kansas Water Office reports on drought http://www.kwo.org/reports%20&%20publications/drought/kwo%20drought%20report.htm 

         

KGS--weekly interactive maps showing vegetation conditions across the State of Kansas. The maps are derived from NOAA satellite data that measures how green vegetation is. Vegetation stress is a proxy measure of drought.

http://koufax.kgs.ku.edu/kars/kars_map.cfm

         

Army Corps of Engineers drought management plan 1994: http://www.drought.unl.edu/plan/handbook/nds8.pdf

 

Flood Information:

NOAA Contact the National Weather Service: http://www.nws.noaa.gov/                             

Reservoir Quantity Information:  USGS real time water data for reservoirs http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ks/nwis/current?type=lake&type=none&search_site_no_station_nm

 

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ADDITIONAL LINKS

 

Completed Studies and Presentations

Related Links

For additional information, please write or call:

Kyle Juracek
U.S. Geological Survey
4821 Quail Crest Place
Lawrence, KS 66049-3839
Telephone: (785) 832-3527
Fax: (785) 832-3500
Email: kjuracek@usgs.gov

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© Copyright 2006 Wichita State University.

Wichita State University
Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of Geology
1845 N. Fairmount Box 34
Wichita , KS 67260
(316) 978-7245
cehh@wichita.edu