Equus Beds Aquifer Storage & Recovery Project
The City of Wichita is taking a proactive approach to meeting future water demand.
Water is essential to life. It is a precious limited resource that we take for granted. When we turn on our faucets, we expect water to rush out. We rarely give thought to the five to eight gallons of water we use each minute of a shower. And we jump into swimming pools on hot summer days without any worry of them ever going dry.
The reality, though, is that water is not a unlimited resource, and that is why the City of Wichita is taking steps now to ensure that we have enough water to meet our needs through the year 2050.
In the next 10 years, it is estimated that consumers' demand for water in the metropolitan area will exceed the capacity of our current water supply. That realization led the City of Wichita's Water Utilities Department to look for new water sources beginning in the early 1990's. As a result, the City developed the Integrated Local Water Supply Plan. At the heart of this plan is the Equus Beds Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Project.
The ASR Project involves pumping water out of the Little Arkansas River following periods of heavy rainfall, treating it to drinking-water quality, and injecting it into the Equus Beds aquifer, a major source of Wichita's water. The water is stored in the aquifer - an underground layer of sand and gravel that can hold water - until it is needed (see how it works). The project will ultimately put up to 100 million gallons of water a day into the aquifer - water that can be recovered by wells and sent to Wichita and its customers.
The City estimates that when fully implemented, 65 billion gallons of water will be stored in the Equus Beds. That is about the same amount of water that Cheney Reservoir holds.
Wichita Area Future Water Supply
Documents Available for Download
ASR Quick Facts Equus Beds Aquifer: Artificial Recharge Process Schematic Equus Beds Location Recharge Well Schematic Saltwater Contamination Threat Water for the Future Presentation
Bureau of Reclamation KSDA - Division of Water Resources Equus Beds Groundwater Management District No. 2 KDHE - Bureau of Water Kansas Water Office US Environmental Protection Agency USGS Equus Bed Groundwater Recharge Project REAP of South Central Kansas