May 4, 2012
Rattlesnake Creek Management Program
In 1993 the Rattlesnake Creek Partnership was formed to develop cooperative solutions to water resource problems in the Rattlesnake Creek subbasin in south central Kansas. The main issue was the extent to which groundwater development in the subbasin was depleting streamflows to which the senior water right holder in the area, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (Quivira), is entitled. The partnership was formed between the Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5 (GMD 5), Kansas Water Protection Association of Central Kansas (WaterPACK) - a local group representing irrigation interests, Quivira and DWR. In 2000, the partnership submitted a management program to the chief engineer. The program included quantitative goals for reducing water use in order to stabilize and improve streamflow and groundwater levels. These goals were to have been accomplished during a 12-year implementation period. The program also contemplated possible administrative actions, including an Intensive Groundwater Use Control Area (IGUCA) with predefined groundwater pumping reductions, if the goals were not met in the specified time. Progress towards the goals was evaluated every four years and this year, 2012, marks the planned end of the implementation period.
Below: Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin in south central Kansas. (Click to enlarge image.)
The partnership has met twice this year to review hydrologic, water use, and water savings data and to discuss the process for completing this four-year review. DWR has produced a draft report and it is available for review on the DWR Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin Management Program web page. As is more fully explained in the draft report, the management program goals have not been met, but significant time and resources have been invested to better understanding the hydrology of the basin and to provide tools and incentives for water conservation. GMD 5 sponsored the construction of a hydrologic model of the district which was completed in 2010. The district has also formed a water bank, implemented an end gun removal and irrigated acreage reduction program, and has purchased and idled several water rights. This work has been positive and helpful, but concerns remain and the partners are considering the next steps. As part of this four-year review, each of the partners has submitted a statement summarizing their respective views on the status of the program and what they see as the path forward. These statements are included in the draft report. The third and final four-year review of the Rattlesnake Creek Management Program is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2012.
Staff News: Morgan Pearman Leaves DWR Parsons Office
Morgan Pearman, Environmental Scientist II, left the Parsons Satellite Office, effective April 27, to take a position at the KSU Southeast Agricultural Research Center in Parsons. Pearman started with DWR at the DWR Garden City Field Office before transferring to the Parsons Satellite Office that opened in 2007 as an extension of the DWR Topeka Field Office. Pearman’s responsibilities consisted primarily of field work, including water right compliance investigations, field inspection reports, impairment complaints, stream gaging and measurement of a network of quarterly wells in the Ozark Aquifer. He also handled daily office activities such as answering phone calls, tracking mail, assisting customers and maintaining field equipment.
“I will be assisting the crops and soil agronomist so the majority of my time will be spent with the crop research plots,” Pearman said about his new employment. “It’s hard to describe everything that I will be involved with but research aside, it is a working farm, which means I will be feeding and working cattle, doing repairs, maintaining farm equipment, grounds, and structures -- pretty much everything that is involved with a row crop and cattle farming operation.
“What I have enjoyed most about the Parsons position has been the opportunity to return to the area and serve the residents of southeast Kansas.”
The DWR Parsons Satellite Office will be temporarily closed until the vacant position can be refilled. Water rights related questions should be directed to our staff at the DWR Topeka Field Office at (785) 862-6300.
May 8: Equus Beds GMD No. 2 Board Meeting (Halstead)
May 9: Southwest Kansas GMD No. 3 Board Meeting (Garden City)
May 10: Northwest Kansas GMD No. 4 Board Meeting (Colby)
May 10: Big Bend GMD No. 5 Board Meeting (Stafford)
May 15: Wester Kansas GMD No. 1 Board Meeting (Scott City)
May 17: Kansas Water Authority Meeting