The City of El Dorado recently hosted a Regional Water Planning Summit with representatives from area municipalities and rural water districts focusing on opening a dialogue with regional stakeholders that may have interest in procuring a source of drought resilient water and long-range planning for their future growth.

The City of El Dorado owns the water storage for El Dorado Lake and has the ability to supply water to stakeholders within the region. The City of El Dorado has thoroughly studied El Dorado Lake’s role in serving as an asset to the region for continued growth for many years to come.

The Kansas Water Office’s OASIS Model determined the available yield offered by El Dorado Lake at approximately 22.2 million gallons per day (MGD). The OASIS Model accurately simulates actual conditions of lakes throughout Kansas, and accounts for stream flow, evaporation, and sedimentation.

In 2013, the City hired Black and Veatch as an independent consultant to conduct a study to review and verify the results of the Kansas Water Office study. The secondary study confirmed the lake has an available yield of at least 22.2 MGD that may be supplied by the City and that additional quantities of water may be available in excess of 22.2 MGD with operational enhancements to the lake and in the drainage basin upstream of the lake.

The City’s current customer base uses approximately 10 MGD, with El Dorado citizens and businesses accounting for about 1.4 MGD, or 14%, of total usage. According to the aforementioned studies, the City could supply an additional 10 MGD, above and beyond what is presently sold, through two consecutive droughts of record before the lake became significantly stressed. The consultant used actual measurable data from the 1950s drought to analyze the lake’s resiliency to drought conditions.

“It is commonly acknowledged that the best time to plan for water usage is in times of plenty rather than scarcity. Thank you to all of the communities and customers that participated in this discussion as we openly talk about the long range planning of the El Dorado Lake resource,” says Mayor Vince Haines. “I was especially pleased to have the City of Wichita join in our discussion. To hear from their staff that their long range plans did not include the need for El Dorado allows our planning to proceed with other local partners.”

The City continues to plan how to best use the El Dorado Lake resource, and has taken steps to begin conversations that may lead to improved water availability and drought planning in the Greater Wichita area.