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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 Upper Arkansas Basin covers 10,300 square miles of west-central Kansas. The basin includes all or parts of 20 counties

Population: There were an estimated 128,500 residents in the basin in the year 2000, and the population is projected to grow to nearly 157,000 by the year 2040.  

Flow: The Pawnee River and Walnut Creek are the two major tributaries of the Arkansas River in this basin.  Whitewoman Creek and James Draw drain a portion of the basin but end in depressions.  Remaining areas of the basin are drained by numerous small direct tributaries of the Arkansas River. 

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

Topography and Soil: The topography of the area varies from a generally flat plain in the western half to a more rolling topography in the eastern half. The average annual precipitation for the basin is 19 inches but varies from 26 inches at the eastern end to approximately 16 inches at the western end. The annual quantities are subject to wide fluctuation

Reservoirs: There numerous reservoirs on the Upper Arkansas River Basin, but none exist in Kansas.  The following map and report show the locations of these reservoirs:

 

Economy: The economy of the basin is based primarily on agriculture and petroleum.  The major crops are wheat, grain sorghum, corn and alfalfa with a sizable portion of this acreage being irrigated.  Irrigation has helped stabilize the agricultural economy in this area of marginal precipitation.  Oil and gas production contributes significantly to the economy of the area.  There are four natural gas refineries, one helium plant and one oil refinery located in the basin.

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Usage of Water

 

Ground water was the source for just over 97 percent of reported uses in 1997, excluding ditch water; 90 percent if accounting for ditch irrigation water. 

For more information on water use in the Upper Arkansas 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/

Kansas Water Office Water Plan for Upper Arkansas Basin http://www.kwo.org/Kansas%20Water%20Plan/Kansas%20Water%20Plan.htm

KGS study of stream geomorphology that includes Reservoirs.  http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/studies/fluvial/

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CONSUMERS

 Agriculture

Approximately 93 percent of all the reported surface and ground water used is for irrigation (1997). 

Industry

The remaining 6% is used almost equally for industrial, municipal, and recreational uses, and one percent on stockwater.

Municipal

Municipal and recreational use accounted for 4% percent of water used in the basin.

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Water Management

 

Significant water management entities in the basin include Groundwater Management Districts Nos. 1 & 3. And the Army Corp of Engineers: http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/

http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/upperark.html  This also includes part of the Cimarron and Lower Ark Basin.

 

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

Kansas Water Office Water Plan for Upper Arkansas Basin http://www.kwo.org/Kansas%20Water%20Plan/Kansas%20Water%20Plan.htm

KGS study of stream geomorphology that includes Reservoirs.  http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/studies/fluvial/

 

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Threats and Hazards

Groundwater

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

http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/

Reservoirs (see John Redman)

USGS Impact of sedimentation on water reservoirs http://ks.water.usgs.gov/Kansas/pubs/abstracts/dpm.030502.html

U.S. Water News:  information about national water quality issues that include Kansas, 1996-2005 http://www.uswaternews.com/archives/arcquality/arcquality.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

 

 

 

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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:  John Redman

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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