This page provides an overview of the most useful sources of information on Kansas water rights, water use, and related data, such as well logs, water level changes, and more.
Water Right Data
WIMAS – Basic water right / water use data
The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS), in cooperation with the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources (KDA-DWR) has developed and maintains the Water Information Management and Analysis System (WIMAS) program to “query, analyze, and map Kansas water right data” including water use information. It can be accessed at: https://geohydro.kgs.ku.edu/geohydro/wimas/
- You can access basic water right data by water right file number or location.
- The initial query produces a table with water right numbers, location of the point(s) of diversion (PD) matching your query criteria.
- From this table, you can click on the water right number for more details on a particular water right.
- Water use for the water right can be viewed as a table or graph, and downloaded.
More information on WIMAS’ data and use is available on this linked page (e.g. information on WIMAS’ “Mapper”, how to look up specific water right, downloading water use information, reviewing your water right “neighborhood”, etc.).
Sources of more detailed water right information
- KDA-DWR can provide more detailed information on individual water rights via an Open Record Request (ORR) filed at the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture’s web page: https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/document-services/open-records-request
- A more comprehensive summary of the data in KDA-DWR’s Water Right Information System (WRIS) for an individual right is KDA-DWR’s “Water Right Information Report” which can be requested free of charge via KDA’s ORR form above. Simply provide the water right number and request the report. [Note: we will be building a page in the near future to explain the report more fully.]
- You can request a scanned copy of KDA-DWR’s water right file via ORR. KDA-DWR is in the process of scanning all water right files. If the file is already scanned, they will provide the scanned file free of charge, after review of the file to remove any confidential information. If KDA-DWR’s has not yet scanned the file, there could be a charge for the staff time to scan it, depending on the size of the file.
- KDA-DWR has four field offices with staff available to answer your water right questions.
- KWRC provides a set of services to assist you in obtaining and interpreting water right information. See Services for more.
Well logs: the WWC5 – Water Well Completion Record Database and Interactive Mapper
The Kansas Geological Survey (KGS) provides two ways to access its extensive database of well completion records, a source of information on Kansas groundwater well logs:
- KGS’ basic interface to query and access WWC5’s well logs is at: https://www.kgs.ku.edu/Magellan/WaterWell/index.html.
- In its basic use, you select a list of available well logs by county or legal description (Township and Range, and optionally, Section).
- The resulting table includes the legal description, owner, well depth, water level, estimate yield, well use, date of completion, and a link to a scan of the well log.
- The table, esp. when selecting an entire county, can be extensive.
- The list can be downloaded to a text file for importing into a spreadsheet for further processing.
- You can also request a text file of the well log data for the list, which again can be imported into a spreadsheet for processing.
- KGS’ Interactive Mapper to access the same well log information via a GIS mapping interface at: https://maps.kgs.ku.edu/wwc5/index.html?t=wwc5. Via the various menus you can:
- control items displayed and select an aerial photo to use as a base map;
- navigate to a particular address, legal description, or county;
- color code wells, download well log information, filter wells displayed; and
- much more.
More detailed information on the WWC5 data, KGS’s interfaces and uses see this linked page.
Water level database: WIZARD
Similar to the WWC5 database above, KGS’ WIZARD database is a repository of water level information for freshwater wells in Kansas major aquifer, consolidating information formerly maintained by several local, state, and federal agencies. The database can be queried at the following link: https://geohydro.kgs.ku.edu/geohydro/wizard/
The page provides several options to access this data: by GMD, county, legal description, lat/long, and more. The resulting query produces a table of results listing well id information, location, use made of water, depth of well and more. By clicking on one of the well id’s, more detail of the well is provided including a graph of available water levels over time. Well level data can be downloaded to a text file for further processing.
KGS has also developed its High Plain Aquifer Interactive Atlas to access this water level measurements via a GIS map interface at: https://www.kgs.ku.edu/HighPlains/HPA_Atlas/InteractiveAtlas.html.
Note: as of this writing (3/5/2022), the linkages between the interactive atlas and water level data is broken as a result of the recent migration of the WIZARD database.
Ogallala – High Plains Maps
While specific water right attributes are important, so is knowing information about the water right’s neighborhood. The following maps from KDA-DWR, and KGS provide some insight into local conditions.
Some maps of interest for Ogallala-High Plains (O-HP) Aquifer
- From DWR’s Map Library at: https://agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/dwr/dwr-library/maps
- DWR Closed and Restricted area (statewide): https://agriculture.ks.gov/docs/default-source/dwr-water-appropriation-documents/ClosedRestricted_PurpleTwn.pdf
- Alternative (better) DWR Closed and Restricted area (statewide):
- DWR – OHP water level change, pre-development to 2015:
- DWR Remaining Saturated thickness (2015):
- DWR 2020 wateruse by county and use made of water:
- DWR Estimated Useable Life, 2016:
- KGS Ogallala-HP Atlas at https://www.kgs.ku.edu/HighPlains/HPA_Atlas/index.html
- Water level change, last 20 years:
- Current O-HP aquifer thickness, 2020:
- Change in O-HP water levels, pre-development to 2020, feet:
- Change in O-HP water levels, pre-development to 2020, percent change:
- O-HP Wateruse density:
- Average use as a percent of authorized quantity used by county:
- Dry year use as a percent of authorized quantity used by county:
- Water level change, last 20 years:
Page last updated: 3/6/2022