David Barfield, chief engineer in the Division of Water Resources at the Kansas Department of Agriculture, has approved a proposal from Groundwater Management District 2 to expand the boundaries of the Equus Beds area.
The approval of the expansion became final on July 7 after Barfield considered all the evidence and comments from an October 2016 public hearing on the issue.
GMD 2 comprises portions of four counties in south-central Kansas that rely upon the Equus Beds aquifer as the principal source of fresh and usable water.
The city of Wichita draws its water primarily from Cheney Reservoir, which was built by the city for a water source, but it also has wells in the Equus Beds.
The boundary expansion resulted from a resolution that was brought to the chief engineer by the GMD 2 Board of Directors to request annexation of a territory that is part of the same hydrologic community of interest as the existing district.
HIGH PLAINS AQUIFER: The Equus Beds is the easternmost area of the High Plains Aquifer in Kansas.
The expanded areas are in McPherson, Reno and Sedgwick counties.
The resolution was followed by a petition, submission of maps and evidence, as well as written and oral testimony, comments, and other documents as part of the public hearing. Based upon the materials presented, the chief engineer determined that the requirements for the expansion of a groundwater management district were met, and the expansion became effective upon his approval of the resolution.
Details about the expansion, including the original resolution and petition and a detailed description of the expansion areas, can be found at the KDA–DWR website at agriculture.ks.gov/GMDs.
Source: Kansas Water Office