Technical Assistance for Water Rights and Source Water Protection

The Kansas Rural Water Association provides technical assistance for Water Systems in the areas of Water Rights, Source Water Protection, Operator-In-Training (OIT) Assistance, Surface Water Treatment, Vulnerability Assessment, Emergency Planning, Water Conservation, Conservation Plans, and Leak Detection. Additionally, KRWA provides water rate reviews.

Safe drinking water is no accident. Start the development or update of your protection plan today by contacting the Kansas Rural Water Association.

In Kansas, a permit or certified water right is required before diverting water for any purpose other than domestic/household use. Water rights have conditions such as maximum rates of diversion and annual quantities of water, specific locations where diversion can occur, specific locations where water is to be used and specific beneficial uses of the water diverted. It is a violation of the law if water is not used in compliance of the conditions of a water right.

Water systems needing a explanation of the water rights they hold or assistance in maintaining compliance with their water rights are welcome to contact Kansas Rural Water Association.

Common Annual Water Right Deadlines:

    March 1
  • Annual Water Use Report.
  • Municipal Perfection Progress Report. (A one-time report for water right appropriations
    (permits) approximately 10 years old.)
    December 31
  • Completion of Diversion Works Report. (A one-time report for each new well / pumpsite / dam / etc., under each file number.)
  • Request for an Extension of Time to Complete Diversion Works.
  • Perfection (Development) of Water Right.
  • Request for an Extension of Time to Perfect Water Right.
  • Installation of an Acceptable Water Flow Meter Report. (When required by an order issued by Chief Engineer. Meter repairs and replacements must be reported within 30 days of the repair or replacement. - See K.A.R. 5-1-10.)

Other Water Rights Links:
DWR List of Certified Flow Meters
DWR Notice of Completion and Meter Installation Form (New Requirement)
DWR Meter Installation Form (Replacement Meter)
Meter Installation Information   
Online Water Use Reporting System  
Latest Statistics Concerning Water Use by Public Water Systems In Kansas

The Kansas Rural Water Association provides technical assistance to public water supply systems with Source Water Protection planning. Often in conjunction with a comprehensive water rights review, water systems using groundwater, surface water or both are encouraged and assisted to:

1. Form a Planning Team
2. Define the Area of Protection
3. Inventory the Potential Sources of Contamination
4. Manage the Protection Area, and
5. Write an Emergency Contingency Plan

Water systems completing a Source Water Protection Plan will receive a notebook containing the plan with copies of their water rights, well site easements and deeds, Water Conservation Plan and Water Emergency Supply Plan.

The Emergency Assistance / New Operator Training program was developed by the Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) in 2004 to provide on-site technical assistance to water utilities that are without a certified operator. Cities and RWDs or other public water systems that lose their operator in charge must notify KDHE by contacting Vickie Wessel at 785/296-2976. KDHE then contacts KRWA and requests on-site assistance be provided to the utility or new operator. The purpose is to ensure the water system continues to provide quality water and a new operator is trained.

KRWA provides training materials, assists with testing procedures, reporting requirements, recordkeeping and assistance in operating the water system as necessary.

For a summary of the program, see this article from the July 2004 issue of The Kansas Lifeline.

The Kansas Rural Water Association works with public water systems to identify potential contributors to high unaccounted for water loss. As a component, KRWA provides leak detection services to water systems when it has been determined that the high unaccounted for water loss is likely due to leakage.

KRWA uses a variety of methods to locate leaks. The best time to search for leaks is late at night when most customer usage is low. The distribution system is isolated in sections by closing mainline valves to detect for abnormal flows. After an area is identified as suspect for leakage, KRWA utilizes different equipment to pinpoint the leak, including

  • Sonic listening equipment
  • Probes
  • Leak correlator

Through the benefits of the on-site assistance component of the Clean Drinking Water Fee, KRWA is requested by the Kansas Water Office to provide special assistance to those systems that are experiencing >30% unaccounted for water loss. An additional component is to provide assistance to systems that have a zero or negative water loss ratio.

See the most recent report on systems listed as “special focus projects.” 

Water conservation is the utilization of cost-effective water use efficiency practices to curtail the waste of water and to ensure that water use does not exceed reasonable needs.  It is also a critical component in the success of every public drinking water system in Kansas.  Poor maintenance of the system infrastructure, pricing of water which does not reflect actual cost, worn-out meters, infrequent data collection, etc., can prevent a water system from operating at its highest potential.

Kansas Rural Water Association supports public water systems in their efforts to limit the waste of water (and electricity, time, etc.) by providing training and technical assistance to water systems.  More comprehensive information about Water Conservation Plans and Leak Detection can be found by clicking on the appropriate box of the menu on the left.

Kansas Rural Water Association works closely with the Kansas Water Office in many water conservation activities.  A factsheet about the Kansas Water Office Water Conservation Program is available from their website.

Kansas Rural Water Association is also a partner with the EPA and WaterSense®, a program designed to make it easy for Americans to save water and protect the environment.  Tools to put water conservation practices in place are available to public water systems that become WaterSense® partners.

The Kansas Water Office has the statutory responsibility under K.S.A. 74-2608 to develop and maintain guidelines for water conservation plans and practices, and to provide, or arrange to provide, technical assistance for water users required to adopt and implement conservation plans and practices.  The Kansas Water Office also has the responsibility to establish guidelines as to when conditions indicative of drought exist. When the Kansas water office determines that drought conditions exist in an area, it shall so advise the Governor and shall recommend the assembling of the Governor's Drought Response Team.  In addition to developing guidelines for municipal water use, the Water Conservation Program has also developed guidelines for industrial and irrigation water use.

The Kansas Water Office is an excellent resource for developing a comprehensive water conservation plan using their Water Conservation Education program.

Kansas Rural Water Association works closely with the Kansas Water Office to provide technical assistance to public water systems in developing effective water conservation plans.  The guidelines are written to assist public water suppliers in the development of a water conservation plan.  The primary goal of a water conservation plan is to achieve more efficient use of the state’s limited water resources.

The reasons a public water supplier develops and adopts a water conservation plan include:

  • Requirement on a Water Right Permit, etc.
  • Participation in the Multipurpose Small Lake Program
  • Requirement of Water Transfer Act Approval (K.S.A. 82a-1501, et. seq.)
  • Public Water Supply Planning Grant
  • State Revolving Loan Fund Application
  • Water Assurance District Membership
  • Water Marketing Customer
  • GPS Mapping Grant
  • Voluntary Action by Water System