Equus Beds Aquifer Recovering

The U.S. Geological Survey says the Equus Beds aquifer is recovering thanks to Wichita’s water conservation efforts.

The agency said Thursday that groundwater levels in the central part of the aquifer where the city operates its water supply wells increased by three feet from 2014 to 2015.

It says the increase is likely due to the city reducing withdrawals from the aquifer in 2014 by more than 50 percent, the smallest amount since 1940.

Wichita developed strategies in 1993 to reduce the amount of water it pumped from the aquifer from about 60 to 40 percent of its total usage. The move came amid concerns about the future water supply for Wichita amid declines in groundwater levels of more than 10 feet.

The aquifer is now 96 percent full.