ASR provides two benefits – drought resiliency and water quality protection.
Permit changes are being proposed to provide operating flexibility that is needed to maintain the aquifer as high as possible – like the levels are now.
The City of Wichita has requested two major revisions to the ASR operations permit.
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Recovery of recharged water from Wichita’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project is an important part of the City’s plan for future drought conditions. Under current permit conditions, Wichita cannot recover these resources if the aquifer is depleted beyond levels observed in 1993. In that year, water levels in the Wichita wellfield area were at 88% of natural conditions.
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.