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News Release, Kansas Geological Survey, Oct. 7, 1998

Midwest Groundwater Subject of Upcoming Meeting

LAWRENCE--Contaminated groundwater and declining water tables will be among the topics discussed at the 43rd Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference. The conference, hosted by the Kansas Geological Survey, meets in Lawrence October 12-14.

The conference's informal setting promotes the exchange of new ideas and research, according to conference coordinator Don Whittemore, water scientist at the University of Kansas-based Survey.

Groundwater professionals from 14 states will present papers and posters. "The goal is to discuss mutual problems and summarize the results of field and laboratory studies," said Whittemore.

Many of the presentations deal with groundwater contamination, including the effects of large-scale hog farms. One study of two South Dakota operations, where clay-lined or concrete lagoons are used to store the animal waste, finds little evidence of groundwater contamination.

But another study, which investigates three earthen-manure storage structures in Iowa, finds seepage of animal wastes. "Seeing the different results in different conditions is one of the benefits of this meeting," said Whittemore.

Groundwater declines near Wichita also will be discussed. The Equus Beds aquifer, underground water-bearing sands and gravels, is a principal source of water for Wichita and the surrounding area.

Since 1995 Wichita and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation have been exploring ways to recharge the aquifer with water from the Little Arkansas River. During times of above-normal flow, water from the Little Arkansas is introduced into the aquifer. The demonstration project will evaluate several methods of recharge over a two- to three-year period.

Other talks and posters will focus on the impact of small Kansas landfills on underlying aquifers, saline water in the Arkansas River, computer models of groundwater systems, and nitrate contamination.

Workshops on confined animal waste and groundwater monitoring are also scheduled.

The technical presentations begin on October 13 and run until noon on October 14. They will be held at the Holiday Inn-Holidome.

A post-conference workshop, continuing the discussion of state groundwater monitoring networks, will be held at the Survey on October 14.

During a pre-meeting field trip on October 12, participants will tour a groundwater monitoring site operated by the Survey. They will also tour KU's Experimental and Applied Ecology Program to learn about pesticide effects on aquatic life.

The conference is sponsored by the Kansas Water Office, the Division of Water Resources in the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and the Kansas Ground Water Association.

Links of interest to this article:
Web site for the 43rd Annual Midwest Ground Water Conference
Kansas Geological Survey Hydrology Page
Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Kansas Water Office
Division of Water Resources, Kansas Department of Agriculture
KU Experimental and Applied Ecology Program, Kansas Ecological Reserves

For more information, contact Don Whittemore, (785) 864-3965
Story by Liz Brosius, (785) 864-3965

Kansas Geological Survey, Publications and Public Affairs