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Energy and Environment

Wichita Officials Consider Imposing Water Restrictions

Because two years of drought have lowered water levels at Cheney Reservoir, Wichita officials are thinking about bringing back water restrictions.

Wichita hasn't placed water restrictions on residents since the early 1990s. However, the continued drought has lowered water levels at Cheney reservoir by 40 percent. Wichita has been drawing up to 75 percent of its water from Cheney Reservoir since 1993. The rest comes from groundwater north of the city.

Ben Nelson of Wichita's public works and utilities department says the department is looking at how best to prolong water supplies until the drought subsides. And, he says hopefully we won't have as many 100-degree days this summer.

Wichita's city council is expected to hear options about water issues during a workshop meeting on February 26. Any action they take will occur during a later, regular council meeting. 

The city has previously tried to curb demand for water by charging residents who use the most water in the summer higher fees.