[DWR Home Page] See Floodplain corrected link pertaining to Miami County: Miami County Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps and Study
Water Structures Program
The Water Structures Program regulates dams, stream modifications, levees and floodplain fills for the protection of life, property and public safety. The program also provides technical assistance and coordination for local communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.
Examples of activities regulated by the Water Structures Program include construction, modification, or repair of dams, bridges, culverts, weirs, low-water crossings, low-head dams, intake/outfall structures, boat ramps, pipeline/cable crossings, grassed waterways, other channel modifications, levees along streams, placement of fill within the floodplain, and gravel/sand dredging.
News: The April 2013 ASDSO newsletter published this summary of 2013 legislation that revises the definition of a dam. According to a summary of the legislation, House Bill 2363 modifies the statutory definition of a dam to those that have a height of 25 feet or more (continuing the current law), or have a height of 6 feet or greater (continuing law) and a storage volume at the top of the emergency spillway elevation of 50 or more acre-feet (modified from the former volume from the top-of-dam elevation). The new law further exempts hazard class A dams (low hazard potential) proposed for construction or modification from the requirement to acquire a permit if the dam has a height of less than 30 feet and a storage volume at the top of the emergency spillway elevation of less than 125 acre-feet or if it is a wastewater storage structure for a confined feeding facility. The bill becomes law on July 1, 2013. Full text and Summary of HB 2363
In the Oct. 4, 2012 “Dam Inspectors Fear the Deluge,” Stateline article, the Kansas Dam Safety Program is referenced with other state programs as having insufficient funding for inspection and upkeep.
U.S. Geological Survey 1:24,000 scale topographic maps traditionally have been used to make contour maps used in flood and dam breach inundation area maps. However, many counties in Kansas have been creating new contour maps using Light Detection and Ranging with a more detailed interval of two feet as compared to USGS topographic maps that use 10-feet intervals. LIDAR is a method of creating topographical information with an airplane flying over an area shooting laser pulses to the ground. A light-detecting sensor on the airplane then takes a reading and maps the topography from the laser pulses. Tom Morey, National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for Kansas, has worked with other agencies to fund LIDAR projects by pooling together monies. If you have questions about LIDAR for your community, contact Tom Morey by e-mail Tom.Morey@kda.ks.gov or by telephone at (785) 296-5440. Read more in DWR Currents Aug. 2 article.
During the 2011 Kansas Legislature session, creation of the Kansas Dam Rehabilitation Program was introduced but did not pass.
The American Association of State Dam Safety Officials recently released the Dam Safety Performance Report for the State of Kansas.
The U.S. Corps of Engineers released Kansas Projects, which contains its ratings of Corps dams in the state. These ratings were done using the Dam Safety Action Classification, a risk-based rating system that measures the likelihood that a natural event will occur, the performance of a structure during this event, and the consequences of poor or failed performance.
Recent news articles in Kansas
New Lawrence Power Plant That Will Supply KCK Will Start Working Friday
House Could Mean Changes to Watershed Dam
End in Sight for Year-Long Lincoln Street Bridge Project
City Working to Keep Dam in Compliance
Hutchinson Homeowners Surprised With $900,000 Bill for Dam
Sediment's a Growing Problem in Kansas Lakes and Reservoirs
Also see national news.
The Water Structures Program is the permitting entity that monitors the impacts of structures on affected landowners. Structures may include bridges, culverts, pipeline crossings, weirs, and low-water crossings.
With the exception of federally-owned dams, the Dam Safety Program is responsible for the safety of dams in Kansas.
The Division of Water Resources is the designated state agency that coordinates the FEMA Community Assistance Program, National Flood Insurance Program, and floodplain zoning.
Levees and Floodplain Fill
Activities affecting floodplains are regulated by the Division of Water Resources. The Water Structures Program provides permit approval for levee and floodplain issues.
109 SW 9th Street, 2nd Floor
Topeka, KS 66612