Kansas Water Science Center

Groundwater and Streamflow

The USGS Kansas Water Science Center monitors groundwater and streamflow, including floods and droughts, related to water resources at the local/state/regional/national scales.

Continuous real-time streamflow information is a vital Kansas asset that can safeguard lives and
property and ensures adequate water resources for a healthy State economy. The USGS Kansas Water
Science Center has collected precision hydrologic data since 1895 with the first Cooperative Water
matching funds agreement for 6 streamflow gages with the Kansas Water Board (predecessor to the
Kansas Water Office). The USGS operates more than 200 streamflow-monitoring stations in Kansas.
These streamflow data are available and the flood and drought conditions in Kansas and the Nation
through WaterWatch.

Groundwater measurements are made in partnership with the Groundwater management Districts 1-5,
city of Wichita, Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources, and Kansas Geological
Survey. These measurements are part of a number of local and state studies and as part of the
statewide network operated by the Kansas Geological Survey.

Filter Total Items: 9
Date published: May 1, 2020
Status: Active

Kansas River Time of Travel Study

The Kansas River provides drinking water for multiple cities in northeastern Kansas and is used for recreational purposes. Thus, improving the scientific knowledge of streamflow velocities and traveltimes will greatly aid in water-treatment plans and response to critical events and threats to water supplies. Dye-tracer studies are usually done to enhance knowledge of transport characteristics...

Date published: October 16, 2017

Historic Floods Along Arkansas River

Despite often being completely dry during drought conditions in western parts of Kansas, the Arkansas River can become deceptively menacing at high flow and cause millions of dollars in damage. The following briefly describe the Arkansas River Basin in Kansas, chronicle the effects of human development on streamflow in the basin, and provide brief descriptions of some of the larger floods.

Contacts: Craig Painter
Date published: June 19, 2017
Status: Active

Real-Time Streamflow Data

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) was established by an act of Congress on March 3, 1879, to provide a per­manent Federal agency to perform the systematic and scientific "classification of the public lands, and examination of the geologic structure, mineral resources, and products of the national domain." Surface-water activities of the USGS in Kansas are part of the Survey’s Water Mission...

Contacts: Craig Painter
Date published: June 15, 2017
Status: Active

Fluvial Geomorphology

An understanding of river- and stream-channel geomorphic responses to various human-caused and natural disturbances is important for effective management, conservation, and rehabilitation of rivers and streams to accommodate multiple, often conflicting, needs. Channel changes may have implications for the protection of property and structures, water supply, navigation, and habitat. The channel...

Date published: June 14, 2017
Status: Active

Urban Water Quality Monitoring in Johnson County Kansas

Johnson County, a suburban part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, is one of the most populated counties in Kansas with 544,000 people in 2010, a 21 percent increase in population since 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Located in northeastern Kansas, about one-half of the county is urban. Urban, industrial, and agricultural land uses affect the quality of streams and lakes in the...

Date published: February 27, 2017

Lakes and Reservoirs in Kansas

The lakes and reservoirs in Kansas are located in two major river basins—the Missouri River Basin and the Arkansas River Basin. Basin summaries and individual lake and reservoir information are available courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S Bureau of Reclamation.

Contacts: Craig Painter
Date published: January 12, 2017
Status: Active

Kansas Drought

Droughts affect more people in North America than any other natural hazard. The cost of losses due to drought in the United States averages $8-9 billion every year. In Kansas, the droughts of the 1930s and 1950s resulted in severe economic impacts that included crop losses and damage, high livestock mortality rates, tree loss due to disease, damage to fish habitat due to low streamflows, and...

Contacts: Craig Painter
Date published: August 15, 2016
Status: Active

Kansas Floods

Floods in Kansas have caused millions of dollars in damage and loss of life. Nationwide, floods are responsible for more property damage and loss of life than any other natural hazard. The USGS monitors flood conditions at more than 180 streamgages across Kansas. Water level and flow information are used by the National Weather Service (NWS) to make accurate flood forecasts. Included in this...

Contacts: Craig Painter
Date published: December 26, 2010
Status: Completed

Mill Creek Sediment

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Johnson County Stormwater Management Program has studied sediment transport in Johnson County streams and lakes to better understand how changes from agricultural to urban land use alter sediment in streams and lakes, characterize how these uses may affect lake storage and biological integrity of streams, and evaluate the effectiveness of...