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Annual Groundwater Survey Starts in Central, Western KS

Photo by J. Schafer

Workers with the Kansas Geological Survey are hitting the road this month to check groundwater levels in central and western Kansas. Rex Buchanan, with the KGS, says lessening drought conditions may lead to less aquifer depletion than they’ve seen in recent years. He says irrigation is one of the main uses of water from the aquifer.

“The more it rains, the less you have to irrigate. The less it rains, the more you have to irrigate. In dry years, because there’s less water available naturally, people irrigate more,” says Buchanan

Parts of Kansas have recovered from the drought or the conditions have significantly improved, but portions of western and south central Kansas are still much drier than normal.

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Members of the Kansas Geological Survey will be on the road this month checking groundwater levels in western and central Kansas. This annual survey of aquifer levels helps determine the health of one of the main sources of water in the region. Rex Buchanan, with the KGS, is guessing they’ll find less depletion than they’ve seen in recent years. That’s because reduced drought conditions have led to less irrigation for fields.

“While we've seen some pretty significant declines the last couple years, I don’t know that we would expect them to continue quite so drastically into what we’re going to see in a couple weeks,“ says Buchanan.

Parts of Kansas have recovered from the drought or the conditions have significantly improved, but portions of western and south central Kansas are still much drier than normal.

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