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Groundwater Levels Hold Steady In Western Kansas, Rise Slightly In Central Kansas

US Department of Agriculture

Groundwater levels in western Kansas remained level and rose slightly in central Kansas last year.

AsThe KU News Service reports, 2017 groundwater levels remained steady in western Kansas, according to data from the Kansas Geological Survey, which along with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, measures water levels in 1400 water wells in western and central Kansas each year.

Changes in water levels in the Ogallala aquifer depend on the amount of water used for irrigation, which is influenced by precipitation and much of western Kansas, as well as parts of eastern Colorado, saw higher-than-normal precipitation last year, explaining the steady groundwater levels.

Recharge from precipitation is negligible in western Kansas but in central Kansas, recharge has more of an impact because the aquifer is shallower and there is greater precipitation. As a result, the Great Bend Prairie aquifer, which underlies Great Bend, Kinsley, Greensburg and Pratt, saw an increase of about a quarter of a foot last year.