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Overview of water resources in and near Indian lands in northeastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska

Water-Resources Investigations Report 96-4070

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Abstract

An overview of water resources is provided for a 4,005-square-mile area of northeastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska that includes the treatylands for the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, the Kickapoo Tribe of Kansas, the Prairie Band of Potawatomi, and the Sac and Fox Tribe ofMissouri. The only plentiful supplies of surface water are available from the Missouri and Kansas Rivers. The smallest mean streamflows for 4 consecutive months occur in November through February for most streams in the area. The smallest flows for 7 consecutive days in a year occur most often in August, September, or October. The typical seasonal distribution of streamflows indicates a pattern favorable for the same-year use of small surface-water impoundments for low-flow augmentation; large flows that could be impounded typically occur in the month shortly before augmentation is most needed. However, droughts of 2 or more consecutive years are common and would largely negate the advantage of using small impoundments except for very small water-supply needs. Alluvial deposits along the Kansas and Missouri Rivers provide the largest well yields in the study area, but these deposits are limited in areal extent. The Kansas River alluvium reaches a maximum saturated thickness of about 70 feet, and the Missouri River alluvium reaches a maximum thickness of 120 feet. Well yields in the Kansas River generally range from 300 to 1,000 gallons per minute (gal/min) but may be as large as 2,500 gal/min. Well yields in the Missouri River alluvium generally range from 150 to 2,500 gal/min but may be as large as 3,000 gal/min. Although generally capable only of small sustained yields to wells, minor aquifers are important because they are available throughout most of the study area. Within the thick, mostly fine-grained glacial deposits, isolated sand and gravel layers may yield adequate supplies for stock- watering or domestic use. Sodium concentrations exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (USEPA) Secondary Maximum Contaminant Level of 20 milligrams per liter most often in the middle Kansas and Delaware Basins. Total iron andmanganese concentrations in water generally exceed the USEPA Secondary Maximum Contaminant Levels of 50 micrograms per liter for iron and 300micrograms per liter for manganese. Atrazine concentrations in surface water, primarily from post-application runoff, commonly exceed the USEPA Maximum Contaminant Level of 3.0 micrograms per liter during the months of May, June, and July. Most of the erosion and about one- half of the total sediment yield in parts of the study area may result from sheet and rill erosion and gullying on cultivated cropland. A total of 3.13 million gallons per day (Mgal/d) of water was used in 1990 in the Big Nemaha River Basin, 74 percent of which was derived from ground water. In the Wolf River Basin, 1.29 Mgal/d were used, 71 percent derived from ground water. The Middle Kansas River Basin had the highest water use, 83.01 Mgal/d, 67 percent of which was from surface water. A total of 4.37 Mgal/d was used in the Delaware River Basin, 55 percent from ground water.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Overview of water resources in and near Indian lands in northeastern Kansas and southeastern Nebraska
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
96-4070
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1996
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey ; Branch of Information Services [distributor],
Description:
vi, 68 p. :ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ;28 cm.