Water Resources of the United States
Date: Tue, 05 Feb 2013 15:48:43 EST
Summary: Kansas has seen no significant change in drought intensity over the past month.
The location of the most severe parts of this drought continue to shift north, from Texas in early 2011, up through Oklahoma later that year, and on up through Kansas in the summer of 2012. The state with the worst drought conditions now is Nebraska (according to the U.S. Drought Monitor), with Kansas and the other surrounding states still severely impacted.
All 105 counties in Kansas have been declared a Drought Emergency by the Governor of Kansas, and Federal Drought Disaster area, since August 2012. No change in this for the last 6 months.
As of February 4, 212 public water suppliers in Kansas were mandating some level of water conservation to their customers, and 8 had in place emergency mandatory restrictions. These numbers have been gradually increasing over the last few months.
The U.S. Drought Monitor has classified 36% of Kansas in the Exceptional drought category, while 80% of the state remained in at least the Extreme drought category. The conditions reported by this index have improved (very) slightly since last month due precipitation that fell in parts of the state.
According to National Weather Service average precipitation statewide in January was basically right at “normal”, with the west generally receiving less than normal, and the east receiving a little more than normal.
The WaterWatch “Average Streamflow Index”, which rates state-wide streamflow from 1 (dry) to 7 (wet) based on 95 streamflow sites across Kansas continued the long trend downward from previous months until the last 3 days of January, when it increased slightly. It has remained between 2 and 3 for several months.
Records or Milestones:
None in the last month, but several federal reservoirs in the state are nearing record low levels. Record low reservoir elevations are expected to be reached within 60 days at some Federal reservoirs if little or no precipitation is received.
Additional Efforts Required due to the Drought:
No additional low-flow measurements, extension of pressure lines, or low-end rating extensions were required in the past month. Streamflow conditions are extremely low, but have recovered slightly as temperatures have cooled and precipitation was closer to normal.
A “pre-proposal” to describe the effects of the current U.S. drought on surface water, groundwater and water quality has been written.
Communications and Outreach:
Kansas WSC staff have answered numerous media requests for drought information to date (none in the past month).
Sub-Region: Midwest; Region: Central United States