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The Western Star
Coldwater, Kansas
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December 24, 2015     The Western Star
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Will Measure Western Kansas Groundwater A crew fiom the Kansas Geo- logical Survey, based at the Uni- versity of Kansas, will be in western Kansas in early Janu- ary to measure groundwater levels in hundreds of wells. The work is part of an annual pro- gram with the Kansas Depart- 6/" 219177108 To all our friends and clients. We appreciate your business. ment of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources (KDA— DWR) to determine if or how quickly groundwater is being depleted in different parts of western and central Kansas. The KGS crew will be near Colby and Atwood on Jan. 2, Rathbun Law Office 215 E. Main Bluff Cree Mary Eubank 582-21 1 5 Coldwater Holidays We appreciate the support of all our Friends and Customers, and wish you all a Merry Christmas! k Kitchen 622-4622 Protection '\ Seasons Greetings to all our friends and customers, and a hope for peace and goodwill throughout the Holidays! Bar Six Manufacutring Dirt Construction, Inc. 622—4456 Protection 622-4279 2016, Goodland and St. Francis on Jan. 3, Tribune, Syracuse and Ulysses on Jan. 4, Elkhart and Liberal on Jan. 5, and Meade and Dodge City on Jan. 6, weather permitting. Most of the 568 wells on the KGS’s list have been mea— sured for years, some since the 1960s. Nine new ones have been added to fill in spatial gaps in the network of wells. “The KGS gets permission from the landowner before moni- toring a new well,6 said Brett Wedel, manager of the KGS wa- ter-level-data acquisition. Of the 1,401 wells to be mea- sured in 48 counties by the KGS and KDA-DWR, 90 per cent draw water from the High Plains aquifer, a massive network of underground water-bearing rocks that underlies parts of eight states and includes the ex- tensive Ogallala aquifer. It is the primary source of irrigation, mu— nicipal and industrial water for much of western and central Kansas. The remaining 10 per cent of the wells are drilled into the Da— kota aquifer and other deeper systems or shallow alluvial aqui- fers along creeks and rivers. Besides underlying much of western Kansas, the High Plains aquifer encompasses the Great Bend Prairie aquifer in west-cen— tral Kansas and the Equus Beds aquifer north and west of Wichita. KDA-DWR field of- fices will measure 833 wells in those central Kansas areas and parts of western Kansas. Of those, the Stockton field office will measure 224, the Garden City field office will measure 246, and the Stafford field office will mea- sure 363. Wells are measured in De- cember, January and February to avoid short-term declines caused by pumping for irrigation during the previous growing season. The majority of wells moni- tored by KGS and DWR are within the boundaries of the state’s five Groundwater Man— agement Districts, which are or- ganized and governed by area landowners and large-scale wa~ ter users to address water-re- source issues. Water levels in the 1,400—well network as a whole declined an average of 0.87 feet during 2014. The average decline was 0.9 feet in 2013, 2.7 feetin2012, 2.8 feet in2011 and 1.18 feetin2010. “I anticipate the overall aver- age water level will decline less this year because, although much of the state was exception- ally dry in early March, we re— ceived drought-busting rains during the growing season,” said Brownie Wilson, KGS water—data manager. “This was especially true in southwest Kansas.” Southwest Kansas showed the greatest declines during 2014, with average levels falling 1.92 feet. In the three previous years, levels there had declined between 2.3 and 3.7 feet annu- ally. “Timely rains occurred throughout May 2015 and in many places again in July and August,” Wilson said. “With the reduced groundwater demands across much of western Kansas, the overall rate of water-level decline should improve from what we’ve seen over the last three to four years.” The slowing decline the KGS expects to see from its measure- ments in January, however, would be due much more to de- creased pumping than to in— creased recharge of the aquifer. The amount of water taken out for irrigation and other uses rather the amount going in has the greatest influence on water- level changes from one year to the next, Wilson said. Even record-setting annual precipita— tion would add only a small frac- tion of an inch, particularly in the Ogallala aquifer. .fli\§\§ I mas And hope that you and your family enjoy an old-fashioned Christmas — one full of fun and excitement, while still remembering the reason we celebrate this blessed holiday. From Candy, Donna, Sheryl, Becky, Sherry, & Chad THE BANK or nggrccrron 8 9 Protection Insurance Agency 302 N. Broadway 622-4224 Protection