January 6, 2012
Water use reports mailed
DWR’s annual water use report forms were mailed from our main office on Jan. 3. Reports reflecting water use during calendar year 2011 (total water use from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31), will be due in the office of the chief engineer on Mar. 1, 2012. Civil penalties will be assessed for failure to file a complete and accurate report, in a timely manner. It is highly recommended that water users return the forms to DWR by certified or registered mail to ensure that the reports are filed as intended.
More than 13,000 report forms were mailed for all uses. Kansas law requires that the report be made on a form prescribed by the Chief Engineer. Due to the volume of information DWR receives, it is important that our standard form be used. If a water flowmeter is required, meter readings and a metered quantity must be reported. Examples of common meter faces and the irrigation water use report form with field descriptions are available for reference. A more detailed Water Use Data Collection and Use fact sheet and a list of answers to frequently asked questions are also available.
Water right holders who wait until the end of February to take care of water use reporting risk getting caught by winter storms or other priorities, which may make it impossible to submit the reports on time resulting in civil penalties. For instance, when shutting down irrigation equipment at the end of the growing season, it is a good idea to record the end flowmeter readings, so this information is readily available to complete the water use report form as soon as it is received from DWR.
Questions about completing the annual water use report may be directed to DWR’s water use unit, your local DWR field office or groundwater management district.
Register now for the 2012 Kansas Dam Safety Conference
DWR’s annual Kansas Dam Safety Conference will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Kansas Museum of History, 6425 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, Kan.
Registration ($60 before Feb. 1, then $70 regular fee) includes seminars, lunch, and break refreshments featured in the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Simply Kansas program that promotes Kansas products and producers. Attendees also may obtain certificates documenting professional development hours required by the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions or credit hours applicable to the Association of State Floodplain Managers’ Certified Floodplain Manager program.
Speakers include university researchers; licensed engineers; and federal, state, and local agency officials who will be presenting Dam Breach Modeling for Significant and High Hazard Dams, Dam Inspection Panel, Burning (on Dams): Prescribed Fire, Case Study: Little Walnut-Hickory, Design and Lessons Learned for Primary Spillway Pipe Rehabilitation by Sliplining, Herbicides and Dams, Solar System and Today’s Water, Kansas River Levee, Forest Connection to Dams, Breach Area Insurance, KDOT Archives for Plan and Review Use, U.S. Corps of Engineers Update and Regulation Changes, Pond Construction and Repair, City Dam Maintenance, Safety of Dams Corrective Action Study and Current Dam Repairs, Role of Historic Preservation in Dam Construction, Showcasing Water Structures in the Media, Kansas Stream Mitigation, Water Rights, and more.
The schedule includes time to tour the museum featuring its new exhibition: You Are Here: Putting Kansas on the Map showcasing rare maps and objects related to maps and mapmaking. See schedule and registration, view previous conferences hosted by the Dam Safety Program at Division of Water Resources, or contact Cindy Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org or (785) 296-0573 for more information.
NASA/JPL monitor aquifers from space
As featured in a recent press release from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), new weekly groundwater and soil moisture drought indicator maps are being produced based on data from the joint U.S.-German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (Grace) mission and are available from the National Drought Mitigation Center's website. Launched in 2002, the twin Grace satellites, which JPL developed and manages for NASA, detect small changes in Earth's gravity field caused primarily by the redistribution of water on and beneath the land surface. The color-coded maps show how much water is stored now as a probability of occurrence in the 63-year record. The maroon shading over central Kansas, for example, indicates that the level of dryness over the weekly period occurred less than two percent of the time between 1948 and the present.
These are experimental products that are still being evaluated and improved. To make the maps, scientists use a sophisticated computer model that combines measurements of water storage from Grace with a long-term meteorological dataset to generate a continuous record of soil moisture and groundwater that stretches back to 1948. The meteorological data include precipitation, temperature, solar radiation and other ground- and space-based measurements. There are known errors which the scientists are working to resolve.
While the new maps provide a good picture of what’s happening at a national scale and can depict subsurface water fluctuations over shorter time frames, the maps do not show the degree of depletion that has already occurred. A more detailed picture of regional conditions and trends is depicted by work of the state’s cooperative well measurement program, through which DWR and the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) measure approximately 1,400 wells in 47 western and central Kansas counties. Of those, approximately 900 wells are measured by DWR field staff. Since measurements of wells date back to the 1960’s the actual levels of depletion and long term trends are quite evident. This year's well measurements are already underway by DWR field staff.
Jan. 9 – 2012 Legislature convenes
Jan. 11 – Four States Irrigation Council Annual Meeting
Jan. 12 – GMD 5 Board Meeting
Jan. 18 – GMD 1 Board Meeting
Jan. 18 – GMD 3 Board Meeting
Jan. 19 – GMD 4 Board Meeting
Jan. 19 & 20 – State Association of Kansas Watersheds Annual Meeting
Feb. 15 – Kansas Dam Safety Conference
Mar. 1 – Basics of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)