DWR Stafford Field Office



Jeff Lanterman - Water Commissioner

Staff of the Stafford Field Office act as agents of the Chief Engineer to monitor and regulate the use of water according to the Kansas Water Appropriation Act, the Groundwater Management District Act, and rules and regulations dealing with water administration within our field office boundaries.

The Stafford Field Office is responsible for monitoring and regulating the use of surface water and groundwater in all or parts of 26 counties in South Central Kansas. The area is very diverse.  Water is obtained from both groundwater and surface water.

Groundwater is the predominant source of water in the Stafford Field Office area.  The area is underlain by several different and distinct groundwater aquifers such as the Dakota aquifer, High Plains aquifer, Great Bend Prairie aquifer, alluvial aquifers and the Equus Beds aquifer. Of groundwater, more than 90 percent is used for irrigation, followed in order by municipal, industrial, recreational and domestic.

Most of the surface water usage within the Stafford Field Office boundaries occurs is in the eastern third of the field office area, primarily for irrigation and municipal purposes.

Some of the main responsibilities of the Stafford Field Office are:

  • Enforcing the terms and conditions associated with water rights
  • Monitoring short term and long-term hydrological conditions by means of groundwater level measurements and stream flow measurements
  • Assisting the public with a variety of water related issues
  • Distributing water based on priority in times of shortage
  • Assuring that all water used is in conformity with the Kansas Water Appropriation Act
  • Assuring compliance with orders in regard to Intensive Groundwater Use Control Areas (IGUCAs)

Three Groundwater Management Districts and several special control areas and project areas are contained in the Stafford office area. They are:

  • Groundwater Management District #2
  • Groundwater Management District #3
  • Groundwater Management District #5
  • Equus Beds Special Water Quality Use Area
  • Lyons Special Water Quality Use Area
  • Rattlesnake Subbasin Project
  • Pawnee/Buckner Subbasin Project
  • Middle Arkansas Subbasin Project
  • Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer Project - DWR Subbasin Management Program
  • Burrton Intensive Groundwater Use Control Area (IGUCA)
  • Pawnee River Intensive Groundwater Control Area (IGUCA)
  • McPherson Intensive Groundwater Control Area (IGUCA)
  • Walnut Creek Intensive Groundwater Control Area (IGUCA)

The Walnut Creek Intensive Groundwater Use Control Area (IGUCA) was established January 29, 1992. The order was issued to improve streamflow and groundwater conditions in the Walnut Creek Valley in parts of Barton, Rush and Ness counties. All permitted water users within the control area, except those with vested rights and/or surface water rights, received reductions in the amount of water that could be used. Uniquely the reductions were given out in reduced five-year allocations to allow flexibility. Those allocations can be moved to other permitted water users, within a 10-mile radius, who might be in need of additional water. Installation of water flow meters also were a requirement of the order. A Walnut Creek Advisory Committee was established to suggest modifications to the order if needed.

How to Contact the Stafford Field Office

Kansas Department of Agriculture
Division of Water Resources - Stafford Field Office
300 S. Main Street (office location)
Stafford, KS 67578-1521

Directions via Google Maps and Mapquest

Phone:  (620) 234-5311
Fax:  (620) 234-6900
E-mail: Jeff.Lanterman@ks.gov