K.S.A. 82a-1029 describes the requirement for each Groundwater Management District to prepare a management program for approval of the Chief Engineer.
In the District’s first management program approved June 6, 1976, the Board of Directors recognized the unique nature of the local area and implemented guidelines to protect and conserve the Great Bend Prairie aquifer. These included strict monitoring of water use with flow meters, well spacing requirements, discouragement of waste of water and encouragement of the re-used water sources.
In the 1979 district management program, the Board of Directors implemented a safe yield policy and maximum reasonable quantity for irrigation to limit the development even further.
The District further solidified the safe yield for the area through the promulgation of K.A.R. 5-25-4 in 1980. By revising K.A.R. 5-25-4 in 1984, the Board of Directors limited the safe yield policy to 3,000 acre-feet (“AF”) in a two-mile radius.
On December 17, 1998, the District formally closed to new appropriations through another revision to K.A.R. 5-25-4. As a result of these management objectives and regulations, the water level declines have been limited. In severely dry years, the District does experience declines in the local Great Bend Prairie aquifer. However, in years of average to above average precipitation, the District recharges quickly.
On October 11, 2018, the District board approved a revision to the management program and submitted it to the Chief Engineer for consideration and approval. On January 02, 2019, the Chief Engineer approved the revised program. Following a public notice period, the District held a public hearing in accordance with K.S.A. 82a-1029 on February 21, 2019 in St John, KS.
At the March 14, 2019 board meeting, the District adopted, by resolution, the revised management program. The current management program as well as all previous adopted programs are available for download on this page.