Central Kansas groundwater levels rose in 2013

02/24/2014 3:33 PM

02/24/2014 3:33 PM

A wetter year in 2013 means that groundwater levels in central Kansas rose for the first time in four years, however the western part of the state continued to see falling groundwater levels, according to preliminary data compiled by the Kansas Geological Survey.

Water levels in the Equus Beds, a key source of water for Wichita and the surrounding area, rose more than 2.5 feet, according to the survey, which is based at the University of Kansas, and the Division of Water Resources of the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

In southwestern Kansas, where extreme or severe drought persists, average levels dropped about 2.3 feet last year. Since 1996, when the monitoring program began, groundwater levels in the area have dropped, on average, nearly 35 feet.

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