by Pilar Pedraza
KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
11:45 AM CST, January 14, 2013
(SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan.)
"It's not to emergency levels yet," said Jeff Lanterman, Water Commissioner for the Stafford Field Office of the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
An annual survey of water levels is finding they're not good.
The yearly statewide survey keeps an eye on water resources. Eyewitness News went to three wells with a crew Monday morning. Of those, one well was dry, the other two were as much as five feet below normal levels.
"Water levels are dropping," confirmed Lanterman.
It's a trend that's continuing as state crews are learning. Every January the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources, measures water levels in wells across the state.
"Water level in this one was 11.53 feet below land surface," said Lanterman of a well near Bentley.
That's five feet below normal.
"Further west they're bigger," Lanterman said of the decline in water levels.
The measurements are part of the Kansas Geological Survey, which tracks the condition of our state's main water sources, the Equus Beds and Big Bend and Ogalalla Aquifers in Western Kansas. Monday crews were measuring wells in Sedgwick County.
"I haven't ever run into a dry well before," Lanterman said, after finding a dry well near Mount Hope.
But others have.
"My guy that measured Reno County (found) some shallow wells, that don't fully penetrate the aquifer, have been dry this year," Lanterman said.
And that's not good news for anyone who needs water.
"Here in the next couple of years, if the drought continues, we're definitely going to have to make some decisions as to what we do with water management," said Lanterman.
But what we really need is a change in the weather.
"If we had a really wet year, this could come right back up," Lanterman said about wells in the Sedgwick County area.
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