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The Wichita city council has approved a study by a consulting firm to look at the Equus Beds aquifer and the possible impacts from recent legislation aimed at helping Kansas farms with drought conditions.
Public works director Alan King talked to the council Tuesday about Senate Bill 272, which was approved by the Kansas legislature. The bill allows agricultural users with water permits to have "flex accounts" that would average their water use over a 5-year period. That would allow the users to draw larger amounts from the aquifer. King says this could have a negative impact on the quality and the amount of water that the city can draw from the aquifer. He said the study will look at the potential impacts and come up with solutions.
The $154,000 study by the engineering firm of Burns & McDonnell should be completed in the summer.