$1.4 million to support local groundwater

A new enterprise to address declining aquifer levels will soon be available in Wichita and Greeley, Kansas, counties. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is investing $1.4 million in a partner-driven Groundwater Recharge and Sustainability Project to support local communities through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program. The project has an additional $1.5 million in partner contributions.

This RCPP project will help landowners voluntarily restore playas near municipal and domestic wells, improve irrigation efficiency, reduce pumping, retire wells, and transition to dryland cropping systems. It is designed to support existing water conservation efforts such as the Wichita County Water Conservation Area management plan and the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Water Transition Assistance Program, as well as the proposed Wichita County Local Enhanced Management Area.

A diverse group of organizations and individuals have come together to proactively address a declining municipal water supply by restoring their part of the Ogallala Aquifer.

“The Kansas Association of Conservation Districts, along with the Wichita and Greeley County Conservation Districts, strongly support this RCPP, and are one of the major partners, because it will help conserve water, create wildlife habitat, help stop erosion, and help to sustain a water supply for future generations,” said Bill Simshauser, KACD executive board member.