Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin
- Groundwater depletion due to pumping in the Great Bend Prairie - High Plains and alluvial aquifer.
- Streamflow depletion.
Stabilize groundwater levels over the long-term to improve streamflow in Rattlesnake Creek.
- Increase interest in the Water Transition Assistance Program to retire water rights.
- Participate in the Rattlesnake Creek Partnership -- US Fish and Wildlife Service, Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5, Water Protection Association of Central Kansas and Kansas Department of Agriculture-Division of Water Resources.
- Measure streamflow and groundwater levels.
- The 12-year review of the Rattlesnake Creek Management Program is underway.
Groundwater Flow Model:
Kansas Geological Survey completed a groundwater model for the subbasin in 1996. None of the stakeholders used the model. The Partnership began discussions to update the model and run management scenarios in February 2008. Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5 hired a consultant to create a groundwater model. The Partnership is taking part in the Technical Advisory Committee. The model covers the entire district including most of Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin.
Most of Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin is located within the Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5. Ford County is located within Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 3. The subbasin is in the following counties: Stafford, Edwards, Kiowa, Rice, Reno, Barton, Pawnee, Pratt, Ford and Clark. It covers approximately 1,303 sq. miles.
The Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin lies within the Great Bend Prairie region with gently sloping hills. South central Kansas has relatively less relief than north central Kansas. The subbasin has two aquifer systems including Great Bend Prairie – High Plains and alluvial aquifers.
The Great Bend Prairie aquifer is the most extensive in the subbasin. Both the Great Bend Prairie and alluvial aquifer are similar in their deposits and makeup. The alluvium along the Rattlesnake Creek valley is relatively thin. It is probably less than 20 feet thick everywhere.
The Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin has the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is managed by the Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Quivira's area includes 22,135 acres in Stafford, Rice and Reno counties. It is located near the confluence of Rattlesnake Creek and the Arkansas River. The Refuge is dependent on surface water from Rattlesnake Creek. It has a large, senior surface water right.
In 1993, residents of the Rattlesnake Creek Subbasin and government agencies formed the Rattlesnake Creek/Quivira Partnership. The partners developed and implemented solutions to water resource concerns within the subbasin. The partners -- U.S. Fish and Wildlife, GMD No. 5, Water Protection Association of Central Kansas and Kansas Department of Agriculture-Division of Water Resources, signed a cooperative agreement to accomplish water use reduction goals. The Rattlesnake-Quivira Partnership submitted the Rattlesnake Recommended Management Strategies to the chief engineer. The chief engineer approved it in June 2000. The partners review the management plan every four years.