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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Dec. 15, 2000

KGS to Measure Water Levels in Western, Central Kansas

LAWRENCE--Water specialists from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, will be in western and central Kansas the week of January 2, 2001, measuring water levels in area wells.

The measurements are part of an annual program that monitors groundwater levels in the Ogalalla aquifer and other aquifers. The program is a joint effort between the Kansas Geological Survey and the Division of Water Resources of the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The two agencies annually measure about 1,400 wells, most of them used for irrigation, in 47 Kansas counties.

The wells are measured each January, once the water table has stabilized following the previous irrigation season. Crews measure an average of one well for every 16 square miles of the area, providing an accurate snapshot of regional water-level trends. Results from the measurements are used by landowners to monitor water levels in their own wells, and by governmental entities, such as local groundwater management districts, in making water-management decisions.

"To get the most useful water data, we need to sample the same well at about the same time each year, using consistent methods," said Rick Miller, chief of the Survey's exploration services section and one of the Survey crew members measuring the wells.

The Survey will measure water levels in approximately 600 wells, beginning in northwestern Kansas on January 3, depending on road and weather conditions. Crews will then move south, working in the area around Garden City and Liberal on January 4, 5, and 6.

Crews will use global positioning systems and digital maps to confirm well locations. They will enter measurement results into laptop computers. Measurements of individual wells made in January 2000 are now available at the Survey's web site ( The 2001 results will be available at the same site shortly after February, 2001.

The Survey crews have again requested the cooperation of local landowners during the measurements.

"The help and cooperation of local landowners is crucial to this program," said Miller "This year we are again requesting, and truly appreciate, the continued support of landowners and local communities in making this program successful."

Links of interest to this article:
KGS Public Information Circular 12--"Measuring Water Levels in Kansas," by Richard D. Miller, Rex Buchanan and Liz Brosius
WIZARD--The KGS Water Information Storage and Retrieval Database
Technical Series 13--A short extract from "January 1999 Kansas Water Levels and Data Related to Water-level Changes" by John J. Woods, Jeffrey A. Schloss, and P. Allen Macfarlane

Story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-2106
For more information contact Rick Miller, (785) 864-2091

Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs