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Kansas Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
4821 Quail Crest Place
Lawrence, Kansas 66049
This project is conducted in cooperation with:
|City of Wichita
Cheney Reservoir and Watershed Water-Quality Studies
Period of Project: 1996-present
Cheney Reservoir, located on the North Fork Ninnescah River in south-central Kansas, is the primary water supply for the city of Wichita and an important recreational resource. Cyanobacteria-related taste-and-odor episodes in Cheney Reservoir during the early 1990’s prompted water-quality studies with the goal of understanding and improving water quality. The U.S. Geological Survey began cooperative studies of the Cheney Reservoir watershed with the city of Wichita in 1996. Initial studies (1996-1997) determined sub-basin sources of contaminants. Later studies (1998-2002) determined chemical loading into and out of Cheney Reservoir, changes in reservoir sediment quality over time, and watershed sources of phosphorus. More recent (2000-present) and ongoing efforts have focused on real-time estimation of water-quality constituent concentrations and mass transport from the watershed, and the description of in-reservoir conditions that may result in the occurrence of cyanobacterial blooms and associated nuisance compounds. Knowledge gained from these studies has assisted in the development, implementation, maintenance, and assessment of watershed-management goals and plans to maintain Cheney Reservoir as a public-water supply and recreational resource.
- Assess the seasonal, annual, and long-term patterns in water-quality conditions, algal community dynamics, and occurrence of taste-and-odor and other algal related by-products in Cheney Reservoir.
- Use latest technology in water-quality instrumentation to continuously monitor variability at the inflow and in the reservoir and potentially relate that information to observed algal population dynamics and taste-and-odor episodes.
- Determine the links between inflow events and reservoir water quality, including algal dynamics and taste-and-odor episodes.
- Determine relations between inflows and in-lake processes (including meteorological, hydrological, physical, chemical, and biological factors) with respect to algal community structure, taste-and-odor compounds (geosmin, MIB), and potential algal toxins such as microcystin.
- Provide a long-term data set with which to verify and refine previously determined relations, for both the reservoir and inflow site, between easily monitored water-quality variables and constituents related to the use of Cheney Reservoir as a water-supply source for the City of Wichita.
Photos of Interest
Cheney Reservoir study site.
The North Fork Ninnescah River above Cheney Reservoir.
Regression estimated concentrations of constituents of interest:
Continuous real-time water-quality monitoring and regression analysis to compute constituent concentrations and loads in the North Fork Ninnescah River upstream from Cheney Reservoir, south-central Kansas, 1999–2012: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2013–5071, 44 p.
Model documentation for relations between continuous real-time and discrete water-quality constituents in the North Fork Ninnescah River upstream from Cheney Reservoir, south-central Kansas, 1999–2009: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1014, 101 p.
Water quality and relation to taste-and-odor compounds in the North Fork Ninnescah River and Cheney Reservoir, south-central Kansas, 1997-2003: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5095, 43 p.
Historical contributions of phosphorus from natural and agricultural sources and implications for stream water quality, Cheney Reservoir watershed, south-central Kansas: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4021, 25 p.
Significant findings of water-quality studies and implications for Cheney Reservoir watershed, south-central Kansas, 1996-2001: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 009-02, 4 p.
Occurrence of phosphorus, nitrate, and suspended solids in streams of the Cheney Reservoir watershed, south-central Kansas, 1997-2000: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report WRIR 01-4199, 18 p.
Sediment Deposition and Trends and Transport of Phosphorous and Other Chemical Constituents, Cheney Reservoir Watershed, South-central Kansas: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 01-4085, 40 p.
Occurrence of pesticides in streams of the Cheney Reservoir watershed, south-central Kansas, 1997-99: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 096-00, 4 p.
Preliminary assessment of phosphorus transport in the Cheney Reservoir watershed, south-central Kansas, 1997-98: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 00-4023, 29 p.
Occurrence of dissolved solids, nutrients, atrazine, and fecal coliform bacteria during low flow in the Cheney Reservoir watershed, south-central Kansas, 1996: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 97-4153, 13 p.