Increase the knowledge base about Kansas’ wetland systems through surveying, monitoring, research and assessment to establish wetland conditions, identify trends and the causes and sources affecting wetland change.
Wetlands have long been known to assist with water purification, not to mention the diversity in flora and fauna they provide. The current Wetland Program Plan (WPP) 2013-2017 for Kansas was developed by a diverse group of state agencies, interest groups and Kansas citizens with assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help evaluate this natural resource. The current WPP will be revised this year and continue to provide wetland guidance up through 2022.
The Playa Lake Recharge grant was submitted to evaluate the infiltration rates of Playa Lake in Kansas. Data collected will be used in Water-Budget modeling to develop estimates of infiltration and potential recharge for a range of time scales and land uses. An extension was granted by the EPA to allow for collected data to be analyzed, summarized and modeled. This grant is expected to be finalized in late summer of 2018.
The Development of Wetlands in Aging Reservoirs grant is looking at the upper reaches of the Federal Reservoirs in Kansas evaluating the possibility of managing these areas as wetlands. The Principle Investigator is crafting the final report and the grant will be completed by July 2018.
Assessing the Water Quality Impacts of Constructed Wetlands on Tile Outlet Terrace Runoff grant has moved into the final season of data collection. Drought conditions are impacting the amount of runoff data that has been available to this point. This will provide four years of data including the two years from the previous grant. The ultimate goal of this grant is to build a model that will provide a template for constructed wetlands under varying conditions.
Characterizing Biological Structure and Ecological Function of Kansas Playas and Updating the existing Kansas Wetland Program Plan (WPP) grant is underway and data collection will start this summer. This Playa Lake work will use LiDAR to improve the known Playa catchments and collect field data to validate the images. The current WPP will also be upgraded through 2022.
The Kansas Biological Survey developed a map of Playa Lakes in Kansas, which was partially funded through the Wetland Program Grant.
Wetland Program Plan for Kansas - The current Wetland Program Plan has expired. The new plan is being developed, and will be eligible for approval by the EPA in 2018.
The projects are typically 24 month projects that are considered complete after a final report has been accepted. The Playa Lake Recharge grant is scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2018. The Development of Wetlands in Aging Reservoirs grant should be completed in the summer of 2018. Assessing the Water Quality Impacts of Constructed Wetlands on Tile Outlet Terrace Runoff grant will be completed in the spring of 2019. The final grant, Characterizing Biological Structure and Ecological Function of Kansas Playas has begun and will be completed in the spring of 2020. Updating the existing WPP should be completed by the fall of 2018.
The Kansas Water Office has submitted grant applications to the EPA for funding of these projects. Grants range from $131,172 to $248,767 with quarterly reports used to document the progress of the grants.