Water Conservation Areas (WCAs)

In the past, conserving Kansas groundwater resources has occurred through the establishment of Intensive Groundwater Use Control Areas (IGUCAs) and Local Enhanced Management Areas (LEMAs). Through the development of a 50-year water vision for the State of Kansas, the Water Vision Team met with more than 13,000 Kansans and consistently heard a call for additional conservation tools that were more flexible than existing conservation options.

In April 2015, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed into law a bill allowing for Water Conservation Areas (WCAs), a simple, streamlined and flexible tool that allows any water right owner or group of owners the opportunity to develop a management plan to reduce withdrawals in an effort to extend the usable life of the Ogallala-High Plains Aquifer.

While the underlying goals of WCAs, LEMAs and IGUCAs are similar – to conserve water resources and extend the usable life of the aquifer – WCAs have the benefit of greater flexibility and less red tape. 

WCA Plans and Agreements

 WCA Name   County  WCA Plan   WCA Consent Agreement/Order   Date Approved  
The Garden City Company FI/KE GCC 2017 WCA Plan GCC 2017 WCA Consent Agreement/Order 05/08/2018
Fansher Farms Finney Fansher Farms WCA Plan Fansher Farms WCA Consent Agreement/Order 03/29/2018
Ray Smith GL & WA Smith Farms WCA Plan Smith Farms WCA Consent Agreement/Order 04/06/2018
Larry Goss Farm Finney Larry Goss Farm WCA Plan Larry Goss Farm WCA Consent Agreement/Order 02/19/2018
Hayden Family Farms Sherman Hayden Family Farms WCA Hayden Family Farm WCA Consent Agreement/Order 01/26/2018
R&R Unruh Farms FI/KE R&R Unruh Farms WCA Plan R&R Unruh Farms WCA Consent Agreement/Order 01/26/2018 
Big D Farms Finney Big D Farms WCA Plan Big D Farms WCA Consent Agreement/Order 09/05/2017
Richmeier Farms Finney Richmeier Farms WCA Plan (Revised) Richmeier Farms WCA Consent Agreement/Order 08/25/2017
Hatcher Land Co. LP
Hatcher Land Co. LP Plan
Hatcher Land Co. LP WCA Consent Agreement/Order 07/31/2017
Compton: Lane County Farm Lane Compton Lane County WCA Plan Compton Lane County WCA Consent Agreement/Order 03/30/2017
Wichita County Wichita

Wichita County WCA Plan

Order establishing the Wichita County WCA/Amendment 03/07/2017
Compton: Highway 4 Farm Scott Compton HWY 4 WCA Plan
Compton HWY 4 Consent Agreement/Order
T&O Finney County (Willis) Finney T&O Finney County (Willis) WCA Plan T&O LLC Consent Agreement/Order 07/25/2016
Westside Dairy
Stanton Westside Dairy WCA Plan  Westside Dairy Consent Agreement/Order 02/23/2016
Franklin Family  Sherman   Franklin Family WCA Plan Franklin Family Consent Agreement/Order 01/12/2016

WCA Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a Water Conservation Area?

  • What are the benefits to forming a Water Conservation Area?

  • Who is eligible to form a Water Conservation Area?

  • How do I form a Water Conservation Area?

  • What tools and assistance are available if I am interested in forming a Water Conservation Area?

  • What information needs to be included in a proposal to form a Water Conservation Area?

  • How is the land area included in an enrolled Water Conservation Area determined?

  • How much conservation is required to be eligible for a Water Conservation Area (WCA)? And, are there requirements for the length of time for enrolling in a WCA?

  • How is a Water Conservation Area different from a Local Enhanced Management Area?

  • What changes may be made if I form a Water Conservation Area and later a Local Enhanced Management Area or Intensive Groundwater Use Control Area (IGUCA) is formed?

  • What is meant by giving due consideration to past voluntary measures in forming a Water Conservation Area?

  • I am interested in forming a Water Conservation Area, how long will it take to complete the process?

  • Is there a fee associated for enrolling in a Water Conservation Area?

  • What level of monitoring, reporting and compliance and enforcement are required if I enroll in a WCA?

  • What are the consequences if one of the water right owners within a WCA does not comply?

  • Will participating in a WCA impact my water right?

  • Can I sell my water right while enrolled in a WCA?

  • I am currently enrolled in a Multi-Year Flex Account (MYFA). Can I enroll the same water right(s) in a WCA? And, if I enroll in a WCA, could I enroll in a MYFA at a later date?

  • I am a water right holder adjacent to a Water Conservation Area (WCA). I am not interested in participating in the WCA. Will I be negatively impacted by the neighboring WCA?

  • If I enroll in a WCA, am I eligible for cost share for water saving technology (irrigation systems, soil moisture probes, etc.)?

  • If a water right holder has been unable to access his or her water, either because of the location of the point of diversion or declines in the water table, can the lack of use of that water be credited as conservation if enrolled in a WCA?

WCA Development Process

  • Pre-Process

  • Development and Approval

  • Post Order Process