Little Arkansas River Watershed

General Information

Sponsored by:
Kansas State Research and Extension
Project Manager:
Ron Graber
Start Date:
January 1, 2001
Address:
7001 W. 21st Street North
Wichita, KS 67205-1759 United States

Email:
rgraber@ksu.edu

Geographical Information:

Surrounding water bodies:

The primary waterway is the Little Arkansas River. Numerous tributaries exist in the watershed.

Watershed Description:

The watershed is contained in parts of Reno, Harvey, Sedgwick, McPherson, Rice, Marion and Ellsworth counties. HUC 11030012

Project Goals & Objectives:

  • Quality
  • Surface water
  • Pollution
  • Restoration

Other Goals:

Reduce atrazine herbicide in water to reach goal of 3 ppb or less, with no seasonal spikes.

Project Achievements:

1. Three subwatersheds in 2006 and five subwatersheds in 2007 within the Little Arkansas watershed were targeted for rapid implementation of best management practices for atrazine herbicide.
2. Three hundred forty-two farmers and consultants were trained at winter schools to understand atrazine best management practices.
3. Fifty and 77 one-on-one farm consultations were made to farmers in 2006 and 2007, respectively, by KSU extension agronomists to secure best management practice commitments from farmers in targeted watersheds.
4. Forty-one and 74 farmers in targeted watersheds in 2006 and 2007, respectively, committed to implementing best management practices for atrazine herbicide.
5. Three integrated agricultural management sites were established to demonstrate and evaluate best management practices for pesticides, sediments and nutrients.
6. An automated surface water monitoring system was installed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of best management practice implementation.
7. Farmers implemented atrazine best management practices on 4,792 acres of grain sorghum in 2006. This was approximately 37% of the grain sorghum acres planted in the three targeted watersheds. In 2007, farmers implemented atrazine best management practices on 7,616 acres of grain sorghum and 2,896 acres of corn in the five targeted watersheds. This equated to 39% of the grain sorghum and 41% of the corn acres.
8. In 2006, implementation of atrazine best management practices resulted in 16% less atrazine being applied in the targeted watersheds and an estimated 27% less atrazine potentially being lost in runoff waters. In 2007, 13% less atrazine was applied in the targeted watersheds and there was an estimated 23% reduction in atrazine lost in runoff waters.
9. Actual water quality monitoring of treated and untreated watersheds found approximately 40% lower atrazine concentrations in 2006 and 18% lower atrazine concentrations in 2007 in streams in targeted watersheds in which best management practices had been implemented.
10. In 2006, rainfall and streamflow was significantly below average during April through August. In contrast, rainfall and streamflow was much higher than average in 2007. For example, streamflow in May in the Little Arkansas River at Highway 50 was six times the long term average. This high rainfall in 2007 during the peak period for atrazine application may have led to reduced effectiveness of implemented best management practices.

Committee Members:
Joe Bergkamp, Frank Harper, Ron Krehbiel, Dwight Lohrenz, Mike McGinn, Bruce Otte, Jerry Sommerfeld, Mark Toews, Jay Warner and agency advisors.

Current Project Partners:

  • City of Wichita
  • Conservation Districts in Harvey and McPherson
  • Extension Councils in Harvey and McPherson
  • State Conservation Commission
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks
  • K-State Research and Extension
  • USDA-CSREES

Copyright 2018 Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy
This project funded in part through the Kansas Water Office, with appropriations from the Kansas Water Plan Fund; and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, through EPA Section 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Grant # C9007405-11.