SEDAN, Kan. (KSNW) — Back in August, the city of Sedan announced it was facing a level 3 water emergency.

They are still in the midst of an emergency, as the water manager is calling it a 100-year event.

The local car wash has closed down, and the city pool was closed three weeks early. People have been asked not to use water for outdoor use. The reductions have worked as the city has cut water usage by over 25%. 

They did receive rain today, something that makes the Water District 20 manager James Rainbolt hopeful. 

“We’re still at stage 3. Hopefully, the rain today, it’s not going to get us out of it, but it’ll slow the drop a little bit,” said Rainbolt. 

Their water supply comes from the lake directly across the road from District 20. They are looking at a project that will extend their dock 65 feet into the lake. This would allow their pipes to reach levels of the lake water that are 12 feet deeper than their access near the shore. 

“We want to extend our dock. It’s a floating intake, so we’re going to extend it to deeper water. As I said, the waters there. We just have to access it,” said Rainbolt. 

One of the biggest challenges has been getting the word out about reducing water usage.

“We got our education out to our entities. It’s all new for everybody. And so I had people calling me saying they didn’t even know we were in stage 2. We need to take a long look at our water conservation plan and redo it after we get through this,” said Sherry Miller, president of the Water District 20 Board. 

The city shut down its pool three weeks early but held off on draining it so people could get water for their outdoor needs. 

“People could come down and fill any kind of container they want to fill up. Some people have kept their lawns watered. We also still have people hauling that to livestock,” said Miller. 

Sedan normally receives around 40 inches of rainfall per year. Through August, they still sat below 18 total inches of rainfall.

The drought emergency involves the following cities and counties that receive their water from District 20: 

  • CQ County RWD #1
  • CQ County RWD #2
  • CQ County RWD #3
  • CQ County RWD #4
  • City of Cedar Vale
  • City of Peru
  • City of Chautauqua
  • City of Moline
  • City of Grenola
  • Elk County RWD #1
  • MG County Cons #1