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Fact Sheet 2014–3116

Public-Supply Water Use in Kansas, 1990–2012

By Joan F. Kenny

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This fact sheet describes water-use data collection and quantities of surface water and groundwater diverted for public supply in Kansas for the years 1990 through 2012. Data used in this fact sheet are from the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources and the Kansas Water Office. Water used for public supply represents about 10 percent of all reported water withdrawals in Kansas. Between 1990 and 2012, annual withdrawals for public supply ranged from a low of 121 billion gallons in 1993 to a high of 159 billion gallons in 2012. Differences in annual withdrawals were associated primarily with climatic fluctuations. Six suppliers distributed about one-half of the total water withdrawn for public supply, and nearly three-quarters of the surface water. Surface water represented between 52 and 61 percent of total annual withdrawals for public supply. The proportion of surface water obtained through contracts from Federal reservoirs increased from less than 5 percent in the 1990s to 8 percent in 2011 and 2012. More than 99 percent of the reported water withdrawn for public supply in Kansas in 2012 was metered, which was an increase from 92 percent in 1990. State population increased steadily from 2.5 million people in 1990 to 2.9 million in 2012. Recent estimates indicate that about 95 percent of the total population was served by public water supply; the remainder obtained water from other sources such as private wells. Average per capita water use as calculated for State conservation planning purposes varied by region of the State. The smallest regional average water use for the years 1990–2012 was 98 gallons per person per day in easternmost Kansas, and the largest regional average water use was 274 gallons per person per day in westernmost Kansas.

First posted November 25, 2014

For additional information, contact:
Director, Kansas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
4821 Quail Crest Place
Lawrence, KS 66049

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Suggested citation:

Kenny, J.F., 2014, Public-supply water use in Kansas, 1990–2012: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2014–3116, 4 p.,

ISSN 2327-6932 (online)

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