TOPEKA (KSNT) – If you’ve been near the Kansas River in the past year, you may have noticed more sandbars than usual because of the drought.
Tuttle Creek Lake, Perry Lake and many more waterways that draw from the Kansas River are seeing low water levels. When droughts occur, the United States Army Corps of Engineers has a water release process to keep enough water flowing through, so local governments have enough water for everyone to use.
600 cubic feet per second (CFS) is the baseline for the amount of water that needs to flow through Topeka’s part of the Kansas River in the winter.
“We actually increase our releases to keep the water at a steady minimum flow going into the Kansas River,” Hydrolic engineer Brian Twombly said.
Currently, Tuttle Creek Lake is down seven feet, and Lake Perry is down two feet below their normal water elevation.
“The Kansas River lakes maintained a pretty steady pool throughout the spring and summer, but Tuttle Creek and Perry began to drop late summer and into the fall,” Twombly said.
The drought has its effects all year, but is most significant in the winter. Twombly wants to ensure people that nothing changes when it comes to your drinking water.
“All water users can keep with all their needs,” Twombly said. “We still have 70-90% of our normal pools in the lakes right now. There’s lots of water supply.”
Twombly tells 27 News you could see higher water levels as early as next spring.