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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Dec. 15, 1997

Survey to Measure Water Levels in western Kansas

LAWRENCE--Water specialists from the Kansas Geological Survey, based at the University of Kansas, will be in western and central Kansas during the first two weeks of January, measuring water levels in area wells.

The measurements are part of a cooperative program between the Kansas Geological Survey and the Division of Water Resources of Kansas Department of Agriculture. The program annually measures groundwater levels in the region, mostly in irrigation wells in the Ogallala aquifer and shallower aquifers.

"These measurements provide information on long-term trends in groundwater-level changes and are used in making a variety of water decisions," said Rick Miller, head of the Survey's exploration services section. "The measurements are made every January at a time when irrigation is at a minimum and wells have had time to stabilize from the previous irrigation season."

Weather permitting, Survey teams will begin January 3, 1998, in northwestern Kansas, operating out of St. Francis and Goodland; move to southwestern Kansas, working from Syracuse, Garden City, and Liberal, the week of January 5; then move east to the Dodge City and Great Bend areas from January 8-12.

In all, the crews will measure water levels in about 560 wells.

This year's crew will use global positioning systems, based on satellite data, to help guide their route to each well. Vehicles will also be equipped with laptop computers that contain information about previous years' measurements. That data will be used to check the accuracy of this year's measurements.

Data from the measurements will be sent daily, via phone lines, to Lawrence. Data on the 1998 measurements should be available from the Survey by March 1, 1998. A published report on the results of the measurements made the year before, in January 1997, is currently available from the Survey (phone 785-864-3965).

Landowners with wells that are being measured should already have been notified by postcard of the upcoming measurements. The Survey crews have requested the cooperation of any landowners in the area.

For more information on the water resources of Kansas, see the KGS Hydrology Index Page.

Story by Rex Buchanan, (785) 864-3965
Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs