April 6, 2012
Implementing the 2012 Legislature’s water laws
With the Legislature’s action on water bills all but complete, the Division is now working toward implementing the significant slate of water legislation enacted, including the revised Multi-Year Flex Account program and new Local Enhanced Management Areas. On Monday, Chief Engineer Barfield presented an overview of this activity during a meeting of the Ogallala Aquifer Advisory Committee in Garden City.
Senate Bill 310 is a new law which allows Groundwater Management Districts (GMDs) to develop Local Enhanced Management Areas (LEMAs). The LEMA process is an alternative to the existing Intensive Groundwater Use Control Area (IGUCA) process, to allow GMDs to craft specific corrective controls in specific areas to conserve and extend the useful life of the Ogallala aquifer. The new process allows GMD’s and stakeholders to propose to the chief engineer their own specific corrective controls. The chief engineer then holds a hearing, focused solely on the locally proposed plan, to determine whether to accept the plan, reject the plan or send it back for modification. While the local plan is not guaranteed to be approved, it would allow the GMDs and stakeholders to initiate consideration of specific controls in a specific area of concern without fear that the adopted controls might be more severe. Implementation requires GMD management programs to be amended to provide for enhancement management through LEMAs. DWR is currently working with Northwest Kansas GMD No. 4 to implement a LEMA in their Sheridan County high priority area.
To begin implementation of Senate Bill 272, revising the Multi-Year Flex Account program, the Division held discussions with the GMDs this week to discuss general implementation of the bill, including work on finalizing the application form and proposed amendments to administrative regulations (currently in K.A.R. 5-16-1 to K.A.R. 5-16-6) in order to implement the legislative changes to the program. DWR is also working on education materials to be made available to the public in the coming weeks.
A full list of this year’s legislative actions can be found on DWR’s 2012 Bill Summary.
DWR officials participate in KRWA conference
The Kansas Rural Water Association’s annual conference held each March in Wichita is an important conference and a valuable opportunity for DWR staff to interact with public water suppliers. DWR regularly participates in this conference to provide education and outreach.
This year, three DWR officials attended the main three-day conference, which was held March 27-29: Lane Letourneau, Water Appropriation Program Manager, Katie Tietsort, Water Commissioner of the Topeka Field Office, and Brent Turney, supervisor of the Water Appropriation Change Applications Unit. Additionally, Darci Paull attended on March 28 to assist the group with an interactive presentation regarding the proper completion of the municipal annual water use reports. Paull, from the DWR Basin Management Team, is coding and processing municipal water use reports in addition to her other duties. DWR staff also hosted an information booth where they answered questions.
“We were able to better assist our public water supplier customers , their consultants, and meet with or provide guidance on metering equipment and other required equipment, since the conference includes a more than 300 booth exposition hall where public water supply vendors also maintained booths,” said Letourneau. “This conference allowed time to meet face-to-face with our municipal customers to resolve problems. “
Letourneau, Tietsort, and Paull gave a presentation to public water suppliers (PWS) regarding the proper completion of the annual water use reports. The presentation explained what these water use reports are used for and stepped the audience through completing the reports, which include 5 sections, with examples.
Letourneau and Tietsort explained the most common problems DWR encounters on municipal water use reports:
- Beginning and ending meter readings for each point of diversion are required, even if no water was pumped.
- The meter readings need to include all the multiplier digits from each individual meter (i.e. the stationary 000’s on the meter face).
- Any explanations should be written in the space provided so that DWR can understand what they are reporting.
- The monthly breakout on Part B should be rounded to the nearest thousandth value. Monthly totals might not agree with annual totals, particularly if customer meters are read on a different day.
- All fields should be completed on the form.
Questions regarding water use reporting may be directed to the DWR water use unit.
MDS Update: Administration ends on the Little Arkansas and Smoky Hill
This week Chief Engineer David Barfield issued orders to end Minimum Desirable Streamflow (MDS) administration on both the Little Arkansas River above Alta Mills and the Smoky Hill River above Ellsworth. MDS administration on the Little Arkansas River had been in effect since last spring. MDS administration on the Smoky Hill River was initiated on Mar. 12. Streamflows on both systems have remained above their respective MDS thresholds for a period of at least 14 consecutive days and appear likely to remain above those values for the foreseeable future. This is the first time since last spring when none of the 23 streams required to be monitored for MDS have been under administration.
Below: As indicated by the latest NOAA/NWS Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service map, beneficial rainfall continued to occur across much of Kansas, with 7-day rainfall totals in excess of 1 to 3 inches being recorded in some areas.
This week’s USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin indicates much of the state’s soil moisture and surface water supplies remain in the adequate to surplus categories.
- Topsoil moisture: 6% very short, 13% short, 73% adequate, 8% surplus
- Subsoil moisture: 8% very short, 22% short, 67% adequate, 3% surplus
- Surface water supplies (for livestock watering): 7% very short, 13% short, 76% adequate, 4% surplus
The USDA report also indicates that last week’s temperatures averaged 14 to 21 degrees above normal across the State as highs were mostly in the 80’s, with some stations reporting record setting highs. The High Plains Regional Climate Center indicates over 1500 daily March temperature records were broken in the High Plains Region. In Kansas, monthly average temperature records for March, were broken at Concordia, Goodland, Salina and Topeka.
Temperature (F) – Rank
|Record or Previous
Record (F) – Year
|Period of Record|
|Concordia||56.6 – Warmest||55.6 – 1910||1885-2012|
|Dodge City||54.2 – Second Warmest||55.7 – 1910||1874-2012|
|Goodland||50.7 – Warmest||48.8 – 1907||1895-2012|
|Hill City||53.4 – Second Warmest||54.3 – 1910||1907-2012|
|Salina||57.1 – Warmest||53.3 – 2007||1948-2012|
|Topeka||59.3 – Warmest||57.2 – 1910||1887-2012|
|Wichita||57.9 – Second Warmest||58.1 – 1910||1888-2012|
The High Plains Regional Climate Center's March 2012 Climate Summary, which includes the latest regional climate and drought outlooks, was released Apr. 5.
The latest El Niño/La Niña-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Diagnostic Discussion, also released Apr. 5, by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center indicates La Niña continued to weaken during March 2012 and that all of the Niño indices have warmed considerably during the last two months. According to the report, a majority of models predict ENSO-neutral conditions for March-May 2012, continuing through summer 2012.
- Apr. 10: Equus Beds Groundwater GMD 2 Board Meeting (Halstead)
- Apr. 11: Post Flood Responsibilities Training (Tonganoxie)
- Apr. 11: Southwest Kansas GMD 3 Board Meeting (Garden City)
- Apr. 12: Big Bend GMD 5 Board Meeting (Stafford)
- Apr. 17: Basics of the National Flood Insurance Program (Lawrence)
- Apr. 17: Western Kansas GMD1 Board Meeting (Scott City)
- May 1: Elevation Certificates and Letters of Map Amendment (Dodge City)