The city of Wichita will enter into a funding assistance agreement with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to build additional aquifer recharge basins.
The city has approved a portion of the project in the Capital Improvement Program between 2022 and 2025. The $1 million agreement with the feds will cover 25 percent of the costs of building three additional recharge basins and apparatus for them. Future funding could be worth $5.3 million.
The city gets its water from Cheney Lake and ground water from the Equus Beds Aquifer. The Northwest Wichita Water treatment plant currently under construction will have this same flexibility. To recharge the aquifer, the city diverts flow from the Arkansas River during times of higher flow. The water is then treated and pumped into the recharge basins, where it will seep down into the aquifer. The city says the recovery system is a key component for drought protection.
City Manager Robert Layton credited the council for lobbying for the project and thanked Congressman Ron Estes and Senator Jerry Moran for their help in securing federal funding.