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How Should Wichita Respond To Drought?

The city of Wichita has scheduled six public meetings to get input from residents on how to respond to prolonged drought conditions. Officials want to gather information about how people are being affected by the drought and to generate ideas for extending the water supply.

“We’re looking for water utility customers, both residential and business, to weigh in on the issue,” said Ben Nelson, strategic services manager for Wichita's Public Works and Utilities.

Feedback will be presented to City Council members as they deliberate about the drought response at a later date in late spring or summer.

A meeting will be held in each of Wichita’s six City Council districts. Residents can participate in any of the six meetings.

April 16

  • District I: Atwater City Hall (2755 E. 19th Street N) from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • District IV: Alford Library (3447 S. Meridian) from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

April 17

  • District III: WATER Center (101 E. Pawnee) from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • District II: Fire Station #20 (2255 S. Greenwich) from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

April 18

  • District V: Fire Station #21 (2210 N. 135th Street W) from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
  • District VI: Evergreen Recreation Center (2700 N. Woodland) from 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Wichita is in the third year of a prolonged drought with a diminished water supply. It is unclear when the drought will end or how severe it will be. Cheney Reservoir provides 60 percent of the city's water supply. If the drought continues and there’s no change in water usage, it is projected to stop yielding drinking water by August 2015.

Carla Eckels is Director of Organizational Culture at KMUW. She produces and hosts the R&B and gospel show Soulsations and brings stories of race and culture to The Range with the monthly segment In the Mix. Carla was inducted into The Kansas African American Museum's Trailblazers Hall of Fame in 2020 for her work in broadcast/journalism.