The City of Wichita Environmental Services Department is launching a new project aimed at improving the water quality of the Arkansas River and its tributaries that flow through the city.
The Wichita Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) will help identify water quality priorities and actions. The initiative is funded by a $50,000 grant from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) as part of its Kansas Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy. KDHE has assigned a high priority for restoration of the river basin in the Wichita area.Wichita WRAPS will focus on restoring the Lower Arkansas River Basin watershed.
“We’ve known for a long time that the Lower Arkansas River Basin does not meet surface water quality standards and have taken actions for improvements”, said Kay Johnson, Environmental Services Director. “However, this grant permits us to engage citizens in determining the interests and needs of the community for watershed protection. We’d also like to find partners to help implement water quality improvement actions.”
The project will begin with a developmental phase to identify community interest, followed by three additional phases of assessment, planning and implementation.
The City will use the grant funds to retain Geotechnical Services, Inc., (GSI) to gather citizen input and hold informational community meetings. The project also includes launching a Web site for posting local Arkansas River water quality information and an online survey.