Lake and Wetland Monitoring Program
The Lake and Wetland Monitoring Program provides information on the chemical, physical, and biological properties of publicly owned lakes and wetlands in Kansas. Water bodies are visited by staff on a 3-5 year rotational schedule, and field measurements and subsequent laboratory analyses provide data on a large suite of physical, organic, inorganic, and biological parameters. For a complete list of parameters, see the Program’s Quality Assurance Management Plan.
Water quality information currently is obtained from 122 lakes and wetlands distributed throughout the state. These include all 24 federal reservoirs, most state-administered fishing lakes (those retaining open water in most years), various other state, county or locally owned lakes, several privately owned but publicly accessible lakes, and seven state or federally owned marshes. The program’s primary database comprises about 250,000 analytical records representing approximately 300 water bodies and more than 100 different analytical parameters.
Watersheds associated with many of these monitored lakes and wetlands are periodically surveyed with respect to prevailing land use/land cover and the location and size of any discrete pollutant sources. Macrophyte community composition and aerial macrophyte coverage also are evaluated in selected water bodies smaller than 250 acres. Information derived from these ancillary activities improves the Department’s ability to estimate contaminant fluxes, characterize lake trophic conditions, predict future changes in these conditions, and assess the need for regulatory intervention.
This program routinely shares a large amount of data and expertise with other agencies and organizations involved in lake and wetland management, environmental restoration, water quality monitoring, and environmental education. Additional collaborative efforts have addressed the abatement of toxic algal blooms and taste/odor problems in public drinking water supply reservoirs.
, Environmental Scientist, 785-296-5576