The management of Kansas surface water resources relies heavily on an understanding of the quantity, source, transport and deposition of sediment in our streams and reservoirs. Excessive sedimentation decreases water storage capacity in our reservoirs, degrades water quality and can negatively impact water supply infrastructure. To tackle these challenges, water resource managers and decision makers need quality data to develop targeted and cost-effective solutions.
KWO has worked with multiple state and federal agencies to collect and analyze sediment data as far back as the 1950’s when the Kansas Water Resources Board (KWO’s predecessor) worked with the U.S. Geological Survey to set up a sediment monitoring network. Over the years bathymetric surveying, sediment coring and in-stream monitoring trend analyses have provided valuable information about the volume, rate, quality and sources of sediment being deposited in the reservoirs. However, continued monitoring and assessment is needed to support effective reservoir and watershed management decisions.
If funding allows, ideally a new bathymetric survey would be completed at each public supply reservoir a minimum of every ten years to assess the sediment accumulation. Each year 2-3 large federal reservoirs and 3-5 non-federal reservoirs would be resurveyed. Sediment cores should be collected in conjunction with bathymetric surveys. The full cycle would be completed every 8-10 years.
In-stream suspended sediment monitoring above and below federal reservoirs help to quantify sediment loads during varying hydrologic conditions and determine the trapping efficiency of reservoirs.
KWO is working with state and federal partners on long-term monitoring of the impact of sedimentation to our reservoirs and effectiveness of sediment management strategies. The monitoring program includes a combination of in-stream data collection, bathymetric surveys, and other stream assessment work.
KWO partners with the USGS to monitor suspended sediment concentrations at selected gages along the Neosho River. The gages provide near real time information regarding the concentration of sediment flowing in the river above and below John Redmond Reservoir. This information helps in planning practices that limit sedimentation. The data can be accessed here.
Bathymetric Surveys can be accessed from our Reservoirs page.
Inflow Stream Monitoring