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Facts
Usage of Water
Consumers
Threats and Hazards
El Dorado & Whitewater Reservoir
Water Quality
Water Quantity
 

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

Size: covers approximately 2,380 square miles and encompasses most of Butler and Cowley counties and small portions of five other counties in south central Kansas. 

 Population: There were an estimated 91,700 residents in the basin in the year 2000, and the population is expected to grow to nearly 146,400 by the year 2040. 

Flow: The major streams in the basin are the Walnut River and its tributary, the Whitewater River; and Grouse Creek.  Both the Walnut River and Grouse Creek join the Arkansas River just before it leaves the State of Kansas.  For real-time information on water levels in the river basin click on the following website: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ks/nwis/rt

Reservoirs: There are two major reservoirs on the river system Eldorado and Winfield Lakes . To locate these reservoirs see the following website:  http://www.kgs.ku.edu/Hydro/lake_maps.html

Topography and Soil: The topography in the basin varies from flat, undulating plains of slight relief to rolling uplands and, in places, steep bluffs and hills. The annual precipitation varies from 32 inches in the western part to 34 inches in the eastern part of the basin.  Approximately 72 percent of this precipitation falls between April and September.  In an average year snowfall varies between 10 and 15 inches.  The average temperature varies from 32 degrees in the winter to about 79 degrees in the summer.

Economy: The economy is based primarily on agriculture and general manufacturing.  Major crops grown include wheat, grain sorghum and soybeans.  In addition, the production of beef cattle is a significant part of the area’s agricultural economy.  The production and refining of oil and gas is a significant component of the area economy.

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SOURCES

Surface water use makes up 91 percent of the water used in the basin. 

Agriculture- Irrigation accounted for over 10 percent of all reported water pumped or diverted (1997). 

Industry- Industry accounted for 3.3 percent; recreation accounted for 6.4 percent.

Municipal- Municipal use accounted for over 77 percent, and the major use of water in the basin.

Significant water management entities in the basin include the conservation districts in Butler and Cowley counties and eight watershed districts, which cover approximately 95 percent of the land area of the 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. (Example) 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 Walnut Basin http://www.kwo.org/Kansas%20Water%20Plan/Walnut_Basin_Nov.pdf

Reservoirs

The Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for the operation of El Dorado Lake, is an important water manager in the basin.  The City of El Dorado has contracted with the Corps of Engineers for storage space in El Dorado Lake. To contact the Army Corps of Engineers see the following: http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/regulatory/boundary.htm

Army Corps of Engineers Feasibility Study of Walnut River http://www.swt.usace.army.mil/library/Walnut%20River%20Basin%20Feasibility%20Study/wrbfs/index.cfm

 

 

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CONSUMERS

Municipal Water Quality

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

To find out what is in your local drinking water follow the websites below:

1.) ‘Drill down’ from the top using EPA websites that follow:

a. Consumer confidence reports posted to EPA: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/ccr/index.html    

b. Local drinking water:   http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/index.html

c. Kansas drinking water:   http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/ks.htm

2.)  Direct link to Kansas drinking water to find your County and City: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/dwinfo/ks.htm

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THREATS AND HAZARDS

Quality

Ground Water (subsurface)

Little groundwater, no management district.

Surface Water Quality

KSU--Whitewater River water quality: good explanation of each test and what it represents:  http://www.k-state.edu/waterlink/Graphics/Reports/Butler%20Report.pdf

EPA letter to KDHE about TDS in Walnut River Basin  http://www.kdheks.gov/tmdl/EPAapprov_NVW.pdf

KDHE Total Dissolved Solids in Walnut River Basin   http://www.kdheks.gov/tmdl/wa/WhitewaterR_FCB.pdf

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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El Dorado and Whitewater Reservoir
 

Reservoir Quality:   

http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us/

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

USGS water quality information about El Dorado reservoir 

http://www.swt-wc.usace.army.mil/ELDR.lakepage.html

KSU water link compact: water quality in Whitewater Reservoir:

http://www.k-state.edu/waterlink/water_quality/index.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 that follows:  http://hercules.kgs.ku.edu/geohydro/wimas/index.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

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

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

Flood Information: contact the National Weather Service http://www.nws.noaa.gov/

Reservoir Quantity Information:  El Dorado and Whitewater Reservoir:

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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© 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