FIGURE 1 Geographic setting.

The annual precipitation varies from about 102 centimeters in the southeast to about 31 centimeters in the west. Water supplies for eastern Kansas come from the rivers and reservoirs that supply urban users. Most of the water use is for municipal and industrial use in the east. Some surface water is used for irrigation. The Arkansas River supplies some of the Wichita users but the river is nearly dry in the western half of the state.

FIGURE 2 Major surface water supplies.

Western Kansas obtains most of its water from groundwater. The Ogallala aquifer is nearly the sole source of water for the western third of the state. It supports a vast rural agricultural area.

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