Water Conservation Areas (WCAs)

K.S.A. 82a-745

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 Fact Sheet

WCA Plans and Agreements

WCA Name 
County    
      Plan          Consent Agreement
& Order 
   
  Period            
Acres
Enrolled(Ac/Yr)
Water
Savings 
(AF/Yr) 
 Date 
Approved  
Wheatland Electric Coop Inc. FI WCA Plan Pending 2018-2022 3,190 1,219 Pending Approval
The Garden City Company FI/KE WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  7,170  943 05/08/18
Ray Smith GL/WA WCA Plan  WCA CAO 2017-2026  1,479  87 04/06/18
Fansher Farms FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  1,246  171 03/29/18
Larry Goss Farm FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  432  89 02/19/18
Hayden Family Farms SH WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2017  800  85 01/26/18
R&R Unruh Farms FI/KE WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  1,613  248 01/26/18
Big D Farms FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  2,790  253 09/05/17
Richmeier Farms FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  597  129 08/25/17
Hatcher Land Co. LP
SW
WCA Plan
WCA CAO 2017-2019  252  19 07/31/17
Compton: Lane County Farm LE WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2031  288  38 03/30/17
Wichita County WH

WCA Plan

WCA CAO
Amendment
       -  10,673  2,226 03/07/17
Compton: Highway 4 Farm SC WCA Plan
WCA CAO
2017-2031  649 97 02/20/17
T&O Finney County (Willis) FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2016-2018  1274  PC* 07/25/16
Westside Dairy
ST WCA Plan  WCA CAO 2016-2018  640  164 02/23/16
Franklin Family  SH WCA Plan WCA CAO 2016-2030  960  40 01/12/16

*WCA allocation held to historical average giving due consideration of past conservation per K.S.A. 82a-745.



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