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Energy and Environment

Panel Addresses Questions About Wichita's Water Future

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A Water Usage and Conservation meeting was held Tuesday at Wichita’s Central Library, organized by the League of Women Voters. A three-member panel addressed questions about the future of Wichita's water supply including concerns about Cheney Reservoir.

Cheney provides 60 percent of the city's water supply and if the drought continues is projected to run dry by August 2015.

“We are going into a three year drought," says Ben Nelson, Strategic Services Manager for Wichita’s Public Works & Utilities Department.

“We don’t know when it’s going to end or how severe it could get.”

Nelson's department presented some options to the Wichita City Council in February, but he says right now he is focusing on engaging the public on their concerns.

Nelson says he wants people to consider how their lives would be affected if Cheney Reservoir is no longer available and determine if there is anything that should trigger more severe measures if the drought persists. 

Nelson said the city will launch a public engagement campaign in the next couple of weeks.

You can hear some of the Q&A from the forum on water and drought by clicking on the 'play' button above.