(LAWRENCE, Kan.) — It's a limited resource, and a group from the University of Kansas will travel across western Kansas testing the groundwater.
The Kansas Geological Survey is spearheading the effort to track changes in the depth of the region's aquifers. The survey monitors more than 1,400 wells in 47 counties in western and central Kansas.
This week crews will be traveling to areas around Colby, Goodland, Syracuse and Liberal checking wells to determine groundwater levels. KGS water-data manger Brownie Wilson says the research help everyone from farm operators to state and federal agencies see how water levels are affected by climate and pumping.
"In western Kansas a lot of that water is considered a finite resource," says Wilson. "The water is there independently of a stream system or rainfall, it's been there for many millions os years".
To measure levels crews locate wells by GPS. Crews take a steel tape covered in blue chalk, put it down the well, and use that to determine the water level.