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  
Official Review 
LEAD SC/WH WCA Plan WCA CAO  2019-2025 5,959 812 10/04/2019  
The Garden City Company (2018) FI/KE WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2022 15,578.97 2,001 07/22/2019  
Circle Land & Cattle FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2022 9,588.3 1,074 06/28/2019  
T&O LLC (2019)  FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2019-2021 1,570 11 06/28/2019  
Westside Dairy (2019) ST WCA Plan WCA CAO 2019-2023 720 212 06/11/2019  
Smith Ranch WA/GL WCA Plan WCA CAO 2019-2023 1,278 647 08/12/2019  
Townsend SH WCA Plan
WCA CAO 2018-2022 5,623 84 01/25/2019  
Kleysteuber Farms FI/HS/GY WCA Plan WCA CAO
Addendum
2018-2022 3,443 250 12/26/2018  
Frontier Farms HM WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2022  1,684  209 10/09/2018  
Powerline Dairy, LLC GY WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021 2,893 435 10/03/2018  
Midwest Feeders, INC GY WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2020 1,145 32 10/18/2018  
Pillango Investments SH WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2022 1,432 -- 09/24/2018  
Bartlett Farms FO WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2022 333 38 10/03/2018  
Harshberger Farms FO WCA Plan  WCA CAO
Dismissal
2018-2020  160 60 10/03/2018  
McCarty-Rexford TH WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2022 1,417 108 07/31/2018  
Wheatland Electric Coop Inc. FI WCA Plan WCA CAO
Addendum
2018-2022 3,054 1,203 08/17/2018  
The Garden City Company FI/KE WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  7,170  943 05/08/2018  
Ray Smith GL/WA WCA Plan  WCA CAO 2017-2026  1,479  87 04/06/2018  
Fansher Farms FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  1,246  171 03/29/2018  
Larry Goss Farm FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  432  89 02/19/2018  
Hayden Family Farms SH WCA Plan WCA CAO 2018-2027  800  85 01/26/2018  
R&R Unruh Farms FI/KE WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  1,613  248 01/26/2018  
Big D Farms FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  2,790  253 09/05/2017  
Richmeier Farms FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2021  597  99 08/25/2017  
Hatcher Land Co. LP
SW
WCA Plan
WCA CAO 2017-2019  252  19 07/31/2017  
Compton: Lane County Farm LE WCA Plan WCA CAO 2017-2031  288  38 03/30/2017  
Wichita County WH

WCA Plan

WCA CAO
Amendment
       -  12,632  2,665 03/07/2017  
Compton: Highway 4 Farm SC WCA Plan
WCA CAO
2017-2031  649 97 02/20/2017  
T&O Finney County (Willis) FI WCA Plan WCA CAO 2016-2018  1274  PC* 07/25/2016 Review
Westside Dairy
ST WCA Plan  WCA CAO 2016-2018  640  164 02/23/2016 Review
Franklin Family  SH

WCA Plan

WCA CAO 2016-2030  960  40 01/12/2016  
**Totals:   53     86,625 11,951    

*WCA allocation held to historical average giving due consideration of past conservation per K.S.A. 82a-745.
**Totals reflect Water Conservation Area plans that are currently Active, including Wichita County plans.

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