Home CEHH Survey External Links Kansas Project About Us
   

 

 

 

Facts
Usage of Water
Consumers
Water Management
Threats and Hazards
Pick-Sloan Basin
Water Quality
Water Quantity

                   Back to Map

Call 911 to report Hazards, Toxic Spills or Threats to Basin
......................................................................................................................................................................................


FACTS

Size: The Missouri River Basin covers some 1,600 square miles in the northeast corner of Kansas (see Figure 1). 

Population: There were an estimated 143,000 residents in the basin in 2000 and the population is projected to grow only 3 percent by the year 2040.

Flow: This is but a fraction of the entire Missouri River drainage, which includes all, or part of ten states and extends into Canada.  Tributary streams within the basin include the South Fork Nemaha River, Wolf River and numerous smaller tributaries, which flow directly into the Missouri. 

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

Reservoirs: While there are no large federal reservoirs in the basin, the flow of the Missouri River is regulated by six large reservoirs operated by the Corps of Engineers in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.  The Corps has also conducted extensive bank stabilization works and maintains a navigation channel within the Missouri River.

Topography and Soil: Unlike most other Kansas River basins, the Missouri Basin was glaciated.  Glacial deposits and wind deposited loess are found in some parts of the basin.  In some localities the glacial deposits serve as aquifers.  Of particular interest are the bluffs bordering the Missouri River, which exceed 200 feet in height in places.  The climate of the Missouri Basin is humid, with average annual total precipitation ranging between 31-36 inches.

Economy: The economy of the basin is very dependent on agriculture.  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.

Oil has been produced in the basin in commercial quantities since 1951, and oil fields of economic importance are present in Decatur, Norton, Phillips, Rawlins and Sherman counties.  Except for oil, industry and manufacturing are generally of minor importance to the economy of this area.

.................................................................................................................................................< back to top >

Usage of Water

Most water withdrawals for municipal and industrial supply come from surface sources, primarily the Missouri River.  Municipal and industrial supply is the predominant use of water.  

For more information on water use in the Missouri 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/

......................................................................................................................< back to top >

CONSUMERS

Agriculture

Irrigation accounted for a small percentage  of all reported water usage (1997). 

Industry and Municipal

Industry and Municipal accounted for most of water used in the basin.

......................................................................................................................< back to top >

Water Management

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

A multipurpose small lake (Pony Creek) has been developed in the Missouri Basin.  This lake serves as a water source for the City of Sabetha, which is located just over the divide in the Kansas-Lower Republican Basin.  Six watershed districts have been organized in the Missouri Basin, primarily for flood control.

The Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for the operation of levees and other flood control features and 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.ht

Flood Control

The Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program has provided an accumulated $2,335,639,000 in flood control benefits from 1950 to 1999.

 

......................................................................................................................< back to top >

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: KWO and KDHE TDMLS Report: Not particularly good

Counties in Kansas that surround Missouri River:   

http://www.kdheks.gov/tmdl/mo/mocountymaps.pdf#search=%22KWO%20Missouri%20River%20Basin%20%22

 

 

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

......................................................................................................................< back to top >

 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:

......................................................................................................................< back to top >

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 Upper Republican 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

 

......................................................................................................................< back to top >

Pick Sloan

 

The Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, formerly called the Missouri River Basin Project, was initially authorized by the Flood Control Act of December 22, 1944, which approved the general comprehensive plan for the conservation, control, and use of water resources in the entire Missouri River Basin. The justifiable and beneficial uses of these water resources include flood control, aids to navigation, irrigation of over 3 million acres of new land, a supplemental water supply to nearly 700,000 acres of land, power generation from plants with a total installed capacity of about 2.5 million kilowatts, municipal and industrial water supplies, stream-pollution abatement, sediment control, preservation and enhancement of fish and wildlife, and creation of recreation opportunities.

 The Missouri Basin Interagency Committee was established by the Federal Interagency River Basin Committee in April 1945 to coordinate the activities of the participating Federal agencies and the 10 Missouri Basin States in developing the water resources of the basin. A revised charter was adopted in 1954 to provide improved facilities and procedures for coordination of the policies, programs, and activities of the various Federal departments and the States in water and related land resources investigation, planning, construction, operation, and maintenance. In March 1972, the Interagency Committee was replaced by establishment of the Missouri River Basin Commission. The commission membership consisted of a chairman appointed by the President; the Governors of the 10 States which make up the Missouri Basin States; representatives from 10 Federal agencies - Departments of the Interior, Army, Agriculture, Commerce, Health, Education and Welfare, Housing and Urban Development, and Transportation, and the Energy Research and Development Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; the interstate commission for the Big Blue River and Yellowstone River Compacts; and the Canadian Government as an observer. This commission was replaced by the Missouri Basin States Association in 1981.

 The Bureau of Reclamation program in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming is composed of about 150 units, each of which has been or is being constructed or investigated. Activities under the program include units completed and in operation, units under construction, and units, areas, or subbasins being investigated to meet the continuing water and land-related needs of the Missouri River Basin. The Corps of Engineer's program includes major main-stem reservoirs and flood control projects. The Bureau of Reclamation cooperates with the Corps of Engineers and other agencies in the joint coordinated plan of conservation, control, and use of the basin's water resources. Cooperating agencies within the Department of the Interior, in addition to the Bureau of Reclamation, include the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Mines, Fish and Wildlife Service, Geological Survey, National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Office of Water Research.

 The power systems of the Colorado-Big Thompson, Kendrick, Shoshone, and North Platte Projects have been integrated with the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program for the purpose of marketing the power produced from these projects. In return for all the power generated surplus to project needs on the integrated projects, the program returns, to each project, revenues sufficient to cover the annual production operating expenses and a reserve for replacement of facilities and to allow net operating revenue great enough to repay the power and irrigation construction costs obligated for repayment from power revenues.

The Bureau of Reclamation's plan for development of the water resources of the Missouri River Basin was presented to the Congress May 5, 1944, (Senate Document No. 191, 78th Congress, 2d session). A plan sponsored by the Corps of Engineers (House Document No. 475, 78th Congress, 2d session) was submitted to the Congress March 2, 1944. Senate Document No. 247, coordinating the plans of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers, was submitted to the Senate November 21, 1944. On December 22, 1944, the President signed the Flood Control Act of 1944, Public Law 534, 78th Congress, 2d session, which approved the coordinated plan and authorized appropriations to each of the two agencies for construction of the initial stages.

 The Flood Control Act of 1946, approved July 24, 1946, authorized additional appropriations to the Department of the Interior for the further development of the comprehensive plan adopted by the Flood Control Act of 1944. This act extended the authorization to all units of the plan in addition to the initial stage authorized in the 1944 act. Further appropriations have provided for the continued development of the program.

The act of August 14, 1964, Public Law 88-442, requires that any unit of the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program which was not under construction or in operation during August 1964 must be subsequently authorized before construction can be started. Most Bureau of Reclamation projects in the Missouri Basin which were built before 1944 are separate and independent from the Pick-Sloan Missouri Basin Program, although the Congress has integrated a few of them into the program.

 Many of the key features of the program have been completed and are in operation. Others are under construction. A large number of the remaining features will require considerable investigation before they can be proposed for authorization. It is necessary to continue investigations of the general plan of development, as well as advance planning on units authorized for construction. This ensures an orderly development of water and related resources for the maximum benefit of the basin's residents and the Nation.    http://www.usbr.gov/dataweb/html/psmbp.html

......................................................................................................................< back to top >

© 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