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Energy and Environment

Kansas Survey To Study Dropping Groundwater Levels


Crews are undertaking an annual effort to monitor changes in groundwater levels in western and central Kansas.

The Kansas Geological Survey will measure nearly 570 wells beginning early next month. The Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources will measure about 830 additional wells.

Ninety percent of the wells to be measured draw water from the massive High Plains aquifer system, which consists largely of the Ogallala aquifer. The remaining 10 percent are drilled into the Dakota aquifer and other deeper systems or shallow alluvial aquifers along creeks and rivers.

The data are used by landowners, state and federal agencies, local groundwater management districts, private entities and the general public.

Water levels in the 1,400-well network declined an average of 0.87 feet during 2014.