Upper Arkansas Regional Advisory Committee

Map of Upper Arkansas RAC Boundaries

Current Focus Area

Reducing aquifer declines and extending aquifer life, river water quality and quantity, and additional sources of supply are the focus to maintain the economy of the region. The use of conservation, water right/water use tools, and demonstrations such as water technology farms will help educate producers and water users.

Guiding Principles

Respect private property rights - first in time, first in right. Voluntary, incentive-based solutions should be the highest priority. Conservation activities should result in the availability of added flexibility. Economics will serve as the best driver for future conditions. Locally developed solutions, not government-defined goals, are the best alternative. Recognize diversity of resource conditions across planning region. Cooperation with neighboring states necessary to ensure river flows and extending the life of the Ogallala. Rivers flowing into Kansas must be highly valued. Compacts need to be enforced.

About the RAC

RAC Planner: Richard Rockel  - Richard.Rockel@kwo.ks.gov

The Upper Arkansas RAC has members representing water users in the region, including representatives from the dairy industry, agriculture, surface water irrigation, groundwater irrigation, public water supply, conservation and environment, industry and commerce, groundwater management, and the general public. Click here to see a full list of Upper Arkansas Regional Advisory Committee Membership.

The Upper Arkansas RAC has four goals to address water supply issues throughout the region. Click here to read the complete Upper Arkansas Action Plan.


Aerial Feedlot Garden City (2)

The first irrigation ditches in the Garden City area began construction in 1880 and are credited with leading to thousands of irrigated acres. Six irrigation ditch companies provide Arkansas River water to the area for irrigation between the Colorado line and Garden City.

Quick Facts

Regional Planning Area located in the west-central portion of Kansas.

  • Size: 6,417 sq miles
  • Precipitation: 14-26 inches yearly, W-E
  • Water Supply & Usage: Highest User - Irrigation 95%

Meeting Notes & Presentations

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