Water levels within the Equus Beds Aquifer near Wichita’s wellfield have recovered to near-full conditions. This recovery benefits Wichita and other groundwater users; however, it also limits the capacity of Wichita’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project.
Rather than intentionally lowering the aquifer levels to accommodate additional recharge credits, the City is proposing an alternative procedure for establishing ASR credits when the aquifer is full.
Using a transient resource, water from the Little Arkansas River, to meet the City’s water demands, relieves the aquifer from an equivalent amount of pumping. The water left in aquifer storage as a result of utilizing Little Arkansas River flows would be designated an Aquifer Maintenance Credit (AMC), subject to limitations like ASR recharge credits.The City has submitted proposed AMC rules to the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Chief Engineer for incorporation in a new ASR operations permit.
This proposal prioritizes groundwater conservation while allowing Wichita to accrue water credits for use in drought conditions.