Page 2–The GeoRecord Vol 2.2
Spring 1996
From the Director

by Lee C. Gerhard,

Director and State Geologist


We have lots of water, but it is not always where we want it . . . and of the quality we desire.

Kansans use water many ways. Every once in a while, disputes arise over water use or the role of the stream beds or aquifers in which the water is transported or stored. Most Kansans are familiar with the lawsuit recently won by Kansas over reduced streamflows in the Arkansas River. The 1996 legislature addressed other disagreements about evaporation in sand and gravel pits and conflicts between recreation and sand and gravel mining in the Kansas River. We find ourselves disagreeing with Nebraska over streamflow levels in the Republican basin. Irrigation wells are blamed for reduced flow in the Wet Walnut Creek drainage basin in central Kansas. The people of Hays struggle to find quality ground water to support their growing population.

Is there enough water for everyone? We have lots of water, but it is not always where we want it, when we want it, and of the quality we desire.

Research into water quality and availability and providing information about the total picture of natural-resources availability and use are part of the Kansas Geological Survey’s work. The Survey recently completed field work on an eight-year study of the Dakota aquifer in western and central Kansas, and we are studying the natural resources of the Kansas River system, the movement of agricultural chemicals in ground-water systems in central Kansas, and saltwater intrusion into the Arkansas River. Clearly, the state’s water issues cover all of Kansas, not just one region or drainage basin.

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