Kansas drought impacting groundwater levels
RENO COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - As springtime nears, farmers prepare to return to their fields for planting. But low groundwater conditions have them concerned. The drought we’ve had in Kansas has taken a hit to groundwater levels, particularly in south central and western portions of the state where levels have dropped by as much as two feet in some spots.
In Reno County, farmer and crop consultant Rick Schlender has been in the agriculture field his entire life. Ground near Hutchinson on which he advises is close to the Arkansas River and he said the water table underneath is in better condition compared to other parts of Kansas. The further you get away from the river, he said, it’s been more difficult for groundwater to recharge.
“It’s not as shallow. We got deeper wells and it takes more for recharge because it takes a lot longer for that to recharge to take place,” Schlender said.
In January across Kansas, 1,400 wells were analyzed by the Kansas Geological Survey’s report on groundwater levels. That report was released this week. District 2, which includes the Equus Beds and is a major drinking water source for Wichita and central Kansas, saw a decline of two fee. Further west, District 3 saw some of the steepest water-level drops, nearly three feet in places near Garden City, Liberal and Ulysses.
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