Water Use Reporting

The Kansas Online Water Use Reporting System will remain open until end of day June 1, 2019. Note that any reports submitted by paper or online after March 1, 2019 are subject to a $250 per file number late fee. Late paper reports are still required the $20 per file number paper fee.


Paper Filing Fee

Starting with the 2018 water use reporting period, the Kansas Department of Agriculture, Division of Water Resources is implementing a $20 per water right paper filing fee on each water use report (excluding domestic use) when the report is submitted in paper form. The $20 fee can be avoided by reporting water use online. 
Notification included with water use report
Postcard sent to all owners and water use correspondents

Online Water Use Reporting

Annual water use can be reported online to comply with the water use reporting requirements of the Kansas Water Appropriation Act. You can complete the online water use report by going to the following site: www.KSWaterUseReport.org
  1. Login using the PIN and PERSON ID. These numbers are printed in the lower left hand corner of the annual water use report mailed from our office in January.
  2. Once logged in, follow the instructions inside the pages displayed. Take note of the links at the top of each page, which are helpful to navigate through different parts of the report required for your specific use made of water.
Please read the instructions for completing the online report and terms and definitions. Please only submit one form (paper or online), not both.

If you need assistance please contact us at 785-564-6638 or contact your local DWR field office

Video tutorials to assist with online water use reporting are now available on YouTube for some use types:
Recreational use tutorial
Sedimentation control tutorial
Irrigation tutorial
Important Law Affecting Water Users:
K.S.A. 82a-732 requires the owner of a water right or permit to appropriate water for beneficial use, except for domestic use, to file a complete and accurate water use report on or before March 1, following the end of the previous calendar year.  Any owner of a water right or permit to appropriate water for beneficial use who fails to timely file a complete and accurate water use report is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.00 per water right.  For more information, see K.A.R 5-14-12 or the over pumping severity level summary. Water use data is essential for management of the state’s resources.  Each owner of a water right or permit to appropriate water is required by law to submit a complete and accurate water use report every year.  The annual report must be delivered to the Division of Water Resources by March 1.
This process ensures that the people of Kansas – and officials responsible for managing or monitoring water resources – have access to complete information about how water is used.  The information we collect is used by many agencies – the Kansas Water Office, United States Geological Survey, Kansas Geological Survey, groundwater management districts, Kansas Department of Revenue, county appraisers and others.
Kansas water users generally divert about 5 million to 6 million acre-feet per year of surface water and groundwater for beneficial uses – irrigation, power generation, public water supplies, industrial processes, stockwatering and other purposes.  This is about 1.6 trillion to 1.9 trillion gallons per year, enough to fill Milford Lake 14 to 17 times (not counting flood storage).  This amount of water would cover one section of land 1.5 to 2 miles deep. In Kansas, about two-thirds to three-quarters of total water diverted is from groundwater supplies known as aquifers, and the balance is from surface water supplies including streams, reservoirs, and ponds.

Ten to 20 percent of the diverted water is used for non-consumptive uses such as hydroelectric power generation or once-through cooling at thermoelectric power plants.  Non-consumptive uses return water to the stream or aquifer from which it was sourced.

Eighty to 90 percent of the diverted water is used for consumptive uses – that is, uses in which all or most of the diverted water is evaporated, ingested or otherwise permanently removed from the local source of supply.

On average, irrigation makes up 85 percent of the consumptive use of water in Kansas.  This can vary significantly depending on weather conditions.  Municipal (public water supply) is next, accounting for about 10 percent of total consumptive use of water in the state.  The remaining five percent of consumptive water use is for industrial, recreation, stockwatering, hydraulic dredging and other uses.

Although the state population continues to increase, water use has trended down over time due to efficiency improvements and installation of water flow meters, which generally provide more precise measurements than previous methods.
The 1990-2008 average total consumptive water use in Kansas was 4.3 million acre-feet per year.  Based on a 2009 estimated population of 2.8 million people in Kansas (U.S. Census Bureau website), the average water consumption works out to about 1,380 gallons per person per day.  This is slightly higher than the 2005 national average of 1,360 gallons per person per day (U.S. Geological Survey, 2009).

These per capita figures include the amounts for irrigation, industrial, and other uses of water, and are not the amount consumed by individuals and used for household purposes.  The 2005 average water use for domestic purposes in Kansas was 81 gallons per person per day, below the national average of 98 gallons per person per day (U.S. Geological Survey, 2009).

Currently, Kansas law (K.S.A. 82a-732 of the Kansas Water Appropriation Act) requires that all water right holders annually report water use information to the chief engineer of the Division of Water Resources (DWR). Reports are due back in the office of the chief engineer, by March 1. K.A.R. 5-14-11 further sets forth civil penalties for failure to file a complete and accurate report, in a timely manner.

Due to the volume of information DWR receives, it is imperative that a standard form be used. Also, a statute requires that the report be made on a form prescribed by the chief engineer. Because of the importance of filing the reports (under penalty of law) it is highly recommended that the reports be returned to the Division by CERTIFIED MAIL. This should help to ensure that the reports are filed as intended. If a flow meter is required by law, then meter readings and the metered quantity must be reported (See K.A.R. 5-3-5e).

Each year approximately 12,000 water use reports are mailed to water right holders in Kansas. Of these, approximately 93 percent are returned to the chief engineer before the deadline. This is a great improvement when compared to the 60 percent compliance rate before the state law required annual reporting. Compliance with the reporting requirement has drastically improved the state water use database yielding valuable information. This has resulted in Kansas having a superior water use database.

Water Use Correspondents

Property owners may also wish to designate another person to be the water use correspondent for a particular water right. Please use the water use correspondent designation form to inform this office of a water use correspondent change. The form must be completed, signed, notarized and mailed to our office. Don't forget to include the appropriate file number(s) at the top of the form. The water use correspondent will be the only person to receive the annual water use report, but the law indicates the owner still is ultimately responsible for the water use report to be filed in a timely manner.

Kansas Water Use Publications

Water Use Reporting Fact Sheet

Water Use in the United States (National links from USGS) 

Public-Supply Water Use in Kansas, 1990–2012 (USGS)

If you have any questions, please contact the DWR Water Use Unit at 785-564-6638.