The management of groundwater resources in Kansas continues to evolve. Declines in the High Plains aquifer led to the establishment of groundwater management districts in the mid-1970s and reduced streamflows prompted the enactment of minimum desirable streamflow standards in the mid-1980s. Nonetheless, groundwater levels and streamflows continued to decline, although at reduced rates compared to premid-1980s rates. As a result, "safe-yield" policies were revised to take into account natural groundwater discharge in the form of stream baseflow. These policies, although a step in the right direction, are deficient in several ways. In addition to the need for more accurate recharge data, pumping-induced streamflow depletion, natural stream losses, and groundwater evapotranspiration need to be accounted for in the revised safe-yield policies. Furthermore, the choice of the 90% flow-duration statistic as a measure of baseflow needs to be reevaluated, as it significantly underestimates mean baseflow estimated from baseflow separation computer programs; moreover, baseflow estimation needs to be refined and validated. ?? 2000 International Association for Mathematical Geology.
Additional publication details
The origin and evolution of safe-yield policies in the Kansas groundwater management districts