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

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

Size: The Solomon River drains an area of 6,835 square miles in northwest and north central Kansas. 

Population: There were an estimated 39,900 residents in the basin in the year 2000, and the population is projected to be 34,100 by the year 2040. 

Flow: The basin is unique in that all of its drainage area is within Kansas. From the headwaters of the North and South Forks of the Solomon near the Sherman-Thomas county line, the basin extends eastward to the confluence of the Solomon with the Smoky Hill River in Dickinson County. For real-time information on water levels in the river basin click on the following website: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ks/nwis/rt

Reservoirs:   Three U.S. Bureau of Reclamation dam/reservoir projects regulate streamflow in the Solomon Basin.  These are Kirwin (North Fork), Webster (South Fork) and Glen Elder/Waconda at the confluence of North and South Forks Solomon River.

To locate these Reservoirs see the following website:  http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Hydro/lake_maps.html

Topography and Soil: Surface elevations in the Solomon River Basin decline from about 3,300 feet in the western North Fork drainage to 1,150 feet at the confluence with the Smoky Hill River.  Average annual total precipitation varies from 18 - 30 inches, west to east, while average annual surface runoff increases from 0.1 inches in the west to 4.0 inches in the east.

Economy: The general economy of the basin is farming throughout the area.  Corn, wheat and livestock are the principal agricultural products. Industries represented in the basin include oil and gas.

 

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Usage of Water

SOURCES

Surface water provides 7 % of supply for all reported uses in 1997.

Ground water is the principal water supply source in the Solomon Basin, accounting for about 93 percent of reported water use (1997 water use data).  Irrigation is the predominant use of water.  Principal aquifers include the High Plains (Ogallala) in the west, the Dakota in the east and alluvial/terrace deposits along major streams.  A portion of the basin lies within Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4.  Two irrigation districts (Kirwin and Webster) rely upon releases from their namesake reservoirs for water supplies.  The State of Kansas has not purchased any water supply storage in the federal reservoirs in the basin.  Likewise, no multipurpose small lakes have been developed.  One watershed district (Salt Creek Watershed Joint District No. 46) has been organized in the basin. http://www.ksda.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=180&mid=2311&ctl=Download&method=attachment&EntryId=217

 

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CONSUMERS

Agriculture Irrigation accounted for about 91 percent of all reported water pumped or diverted (1997). 

Industry accounted for over 3 percent; recreation and stock water combined about 1.5 percent (1997).

Municipal use accounted for about 6 percent of water used in the basin

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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

 

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Threats and Hazards
 

Quality

Ground Water (subsurface)

High Plains Aquifer: For specific information about groundwater quality contact:

Northwest Groundwater Management District at District #4: http://www.gmd4.org/

The following websites contain general information about the High Plains Aquifer and threats to groundwater quality from salt contamination and total dissolved solids (TDS):

·         KGS-everything you wanted to know about the high plains aquifer:  http://www.kgs.ku.edu/HighPlains/atlas/

·         KGS-high plains aquifer water quality (based on tds): http://www.kgs.ku.edu/HighPlains/atlas/atgwql.htm

·         KGS-lower ark contamination of high plains aquifer study: http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Hydro/UARC/index.html

 

Reservoir Information:

Use: http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/pubs/fact-sheets/fs.156-97.html

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: visit the Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment at www.kansas.gov

Streams: Solomon chemical and sediment load report: http://www.kdheks.gov/tmdl/so/UpperNFkSolomon_Se.pdf

Limestone creek chemical and sediment load report: http://www.kdheks.gov/tmdl/so/LimestoneCreek_Se.pdf

 

Flood and Drought Information:

 For real time water levels on the Solomon 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

Related Links for Additional Information

·         Midwest Assistance Program (MAP) The Midwest Assistance Program is dedicated to helping rural communities improve their environment, quality of life and be self-sustaining.

·         American Water Works Association (AWWA)-The American Water Works Association (AWWA) is an international nonprofit scientific and educational society dedicated to the improvement of drinking water quality and supply.

·         Kansas Rural Water Association-The Kansas Rural Water Association provides leadership and educational opportunities to help its more than 650 municipal and rural water district members and other professionals wisely manage water and wastewater resources.

·         Kansas Water Office-Lead office for the Governor's Water Quality Initiative.

·         Drought Report

·         U.S. EPA Laboratories with Approval Pending-Laboratories with approval pending for the analysis of Cryptosporidium under the LT2 Rule, Safe Drinking Water Act

·         U.S. EPA Office of Water

·         U.S. EPA Ground Water & Drinking Water

·         U.S. EPA Region 7 Home Page (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska)

·         U.S. EPA National Home Page

 

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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