Reservoirs in Kansas are constantly filling with sediment from inflowing water, reducing storage space used during drought. The graphic below gives a glimpse into the Kansas' water supply reservoirs current capacity due to sedimentation.
Select a reservoir below for current conditions, reservoir operations, bathymetry reports, and other useful technical information.
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The Water Marketing Program, the only one of its kind in the nation, began in 1974 when the Legislature enacted the State Water Plan Storage Act, authorizing the KWO to contract with water purchasers for sale of water from state owned storage in federal reservoirs. Long term contracts for the sale of water from these reservoirs must be used for municipal or industrial purposes; some water may be sold for other purposes on a short term basis if it is determined to be surplus. The purpose of the program is to develop adequate water supply storage to meet present and anticipate future municipal and industrial water needs, in the best interests of the state.
The Water Assurance Program was enacted in statute in 1986. The purpose of the program is to allow for coordinated operation of state-owned or controlled water storage space in federal reservoirs in a designated basin to satisfy downstream municipal and industrial water rights during drought conditions. The water assurance program enables the state to operate the participating reservoirs in a basin as a system, assuring downstream water right owners enhanced flow during times of drought.
To date, three assurance districts have been formed and are operational: Kansas River Water Assurance District No. 1, Marais des Cygnes River Water Assurance District No. 2, and Cottonwood/Neosho River Basin Assurance District No. 3.
The Lower Smoky Hill Water Supply Access Program was enacted in statute in 2011. The purpose of the program is the same as the Water Assurance Program with two notable differences; membership is voluntary, and membership eligibility is extended to recreation and irrigation, in addition to municipal and industrial water right owners. The Lower Smoky Hill Access District was formed in 2016. Formation of additional access districts will require legislative changes, as this program area is statutorily defined as the Smoky Hill River from Kanopolis reservoir to its confluence with the Saline River.
Below are maps of water supply customers within their respective regional planning area: