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Wichita city council to talk about future water options

Wichita city council to talk about future water options

By George Lawson. CREATED Apr 7, 2014

The Wichita city council will have a workshop Tuesday to talk about preparing for future drought conditions and making sure the city has a stable water supply through the year 2060. 

Public works director Alan King says the discussion will focus on drought preparation, conservation and new water sources.    He says staff has identified nine possible new sources of water, and five of those sources will be recommended for further study.   One of the possible sources is El Dorado Lake, and King says there are two options to consider.  The city could pipe raw water from the lake and build a new treatment facility to handle it.  The other option is to buy treated water from the city of El Dorado.   

The city has also been looking at re-using treated wastewater, and enhancing the ongoing program to replenish the Equus Beds aquifer to the northwest of Wichita.  

No formal decisions are expected at Tuesday's workshop, but the council could come up with instructions for city staff to prepare for future discussions.  

King said the city's water capacity at Cheney Lake is almost at 100 percent capacity.  There were concerns last year about the city running out of water in 2015 because drought conditions had lowered lake levels, but heavy rains last August refilled the lake and brought relief from the drought.