Governor announces funding to help secure Dodge City water supply, support aquifer 

Now is the perfect time to research water-saving methods for your garden that can be applied all year long. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Laura McKenzie)

On June 20, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced a $57 million investment in Dodge City’s existing water treatment process and infrastructure. This helps advance the governor’s work to address the state’s water quality and quantity needs. 

“By exploring every avenue for investment into our water infrastructure, we are making progress to address Kansas’ water crisis,” Kelly said in a news release. “When we work together—pooling resources across federal, state and local government—we can significantly impact the future of water for the region.” 

The City of Dodge City’s process of discharging treated wastewater into the Arkansas River stream bed will be strengthened, allowing infiltration into the Ogallala Aquifer and adding to the groundwater in the city’s existing well sites. According to the release, once complete, 4,147 acre-feet, or 1.3 billion gallons, of recycled water is expected to be annually available. 

“The WaterSMART award from the Bureau of Reclamation and the funding commitment from the Build Kansas Fund will further solidify Dodge City as a leader in water conservation management and will help protect the Ogallala Aquifer for generations,” said Nick Hernandez, city manager for Dodge City in a news release. 

The city was awarded $14,250,000 from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation through the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, KS-03, said thanks to the bipartisan infrastructure law changes are happening.  

“From the water in our taps to the rain in our gutters, water infrastructure impacts many aspects of our lives, including where we can build homes and businesses,” she said. “We’re making targeted investments in local infrastructure, which enhances safety, efficiency, and our ability to meet future development needs. I’m committed to building stronger, more resilient communities all across our state.” 

The total investment of $57 million comes from a combination of federal funding, $22,750,000 from the City of Dodge City and $20 million from the Kansas Infrastructure Hub and Build Kansas Fund. 

“Technical assistance and matching fund support to maximize federal funding for Kansas is what our local communities need to be successful,” Matt Volz, executive director of the Kansas Infrastructure Hub said. “This project is a great example of a partnership between the Hub, the City of Dodge City, and the federal government.” 

According to the news release, The Hub was established to maximize federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding opportunities for Kansas. The Hub provides no-cost technical assistance and promotes infrastructure projects related to water, transportation, energy, broadband, cybersecurity, and emergency management across Kansas. In addition, the Hub administers the Build Kansas Fund, which can support communities with match dollars for grant programs funded through BIL.  

For more information about the Build Kansas Fund, visit

Kylene Scott can be reached at 620-227-1804 or [email protected].