Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project, Equus Beds Division, Wichita Project, KS, 33274-33276 [E9-16043]

Download as PDF 33274 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 131 / Friday, July 10, 2009 / Notices may submit your comments by any one of several methods. You may mail comments to contacts listed above or you may submit comments electronically through the NPS PEPC Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ gate). Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Michael T. Reynolds, Deputy Regional Director, Northeast Region, National Park Service. [FR Doc. E9–16326 Filed 7–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–PM–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service National Park Service. Notice of Availability of a Plan of Operations and Environmental Assessment for a 30-day public review at Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cuyahoga County, OH. AGENCY: sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: The National Park Service (NPS), in accordance with Section 9.52(b) of Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations has received from M&M Royalty, Ltd., a Plan of Operations for the purpose of drilling and producing up to four oil/gas wells on the private property of Astorhurst and Prinios in Walton Hills, Ohio. The proposed site is located within the boundaries of Cuyahoga Valley National Park. A Plan of Operations describes the proposed operation, including the equipment, methods and materials to be used in the operation, mitigation measures to protect park resources and values and environmental conditions in the vicinity of the site, and environmental impacts of the proposed operations. When approved, the Plan of Operations serves as the operator’s permit to conduct operations in a park. Under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the NPS has prepared an Environmental Assessment which evaluates potential impacts associated with the proposed drilling operation located within the park. DATES: The above documents are available for public review and comment for a period of 30 days from VerDate Nov<24>2008 22:16 Jul 09, 2009 Jkt 217001 the publication date of this notice in the Federal Register. You may submit your comments by any one of several methods. You may comment via the Internet through the NPS Planning, Environment, and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site (http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/cuva); simply click on the link to the Plan of Operations and Environmental Assessment. You may mail comments to Meg Plona, Biologist, at the address shown below. Finally, you may handdeliver comments to the National Park headquarters at the address shown below. Before including your address, telephone number, electronic mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comments, you should be aware that your entire comment (including your personal identifying information) may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comments to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials, of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety. ADDRESSES: Information will be available for public review and comment, either in person or by written request, at park headquarters for Cuyahoga Valley National Park located at 15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville, Ohio 44141, or at the NPS (PEPC) Web site at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Please contact Meg Plona, Biologist, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, 15610 Vaughn Road, Brecksville, Ohio 44141; e-mail: meg_plona@nps.gov; or telephone (330) 342–0764, extension 2. Alan M. Hutchings, Acting Director, Midwest Region. [FR Doc. E9–16333 Filed 7–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MA–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Reclamation Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project, Equus Beds Division, Wichita Project, KS AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior. ACTION: Notice of availability of draft environmental impact statement (Draft EIS). PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has completed the Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project Draft EIS. It is now available for public review and comment. The Draft EIS describes the development and environmental effects of two alternatives: (1) A no action alternative; and (2) an action alternative that meets the project purpose and need. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are cooperating agencies providing assistance in the preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the guidance of NEPA. DATES: A 60-day public comment period begins with the publication of this notice. Written comments on the Draft EIS are due by September 11, 2009 and should be submitted to Reclamation listed in the ADDRESSES section. ADDRESSES: Comments on the Draft EIS should be sent to the attention of Charles F. Webster, Bureau of Reclamation, 5924 NW. 2nd Street, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73127– 6514. Comments may also be submitted in writing by facsimile or e-mail. Send facsimiles to the attention of Charles F. Webster at 405–470–4807. Send e-mail to cwebster@usbr.gov with Equus Beds Draft EIS Comment as the subject line. Copies of the Draft EIS and related documents are available online from Reclamation’s Web site at http:// www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/quarterly.cfm. Paper copies of the Draft EIS may be obtained by calling Charles F. Webster at 405–470–4831. Refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for locations of libraries and offices where copies of the Draft EIS are available for review. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles F. Webster at 405–470–4831 or cwebster@usbr.gov. Mail requests should be addressed to the Bureau of Reclamation at the address indicated in the ADDRESSES section. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Locations where the Draft EIS may be reviewed: • Halstead Public Library, 264 Main, Halstead, Kansas 67056; • Hutchinson Public Library, 901 North Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501; • Newton Public Library, 720 North Oak, Newton, KS 67114; • Valley Center Public Library, 321 West First Street, Valley Center, KS 67147; • Wichita Public Library, 223 South Main, Wichita, KS 67202; E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 131 / Friday, July 10, 2009 / Notices • City of Wichita Water and Sewer Department, 455 North Main Street, 8th Floor, Wichita, KS 67202; • Bureau of Reclamation, 5924 NW. 2nd Street, Suite 200, Oklahoma City, OK 73127. Background: The ‘‘Wichita Project Equus Beds Division Authorization Act of 2005’’ (Pub. L. 109–299) authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to help the City of Wichita, Kansas, complete the Aquifer Recharge (Storage), and Recovery component (ASR is the acronym for this specific component or project) of Wichita’s Integrated Local Water Supply Plan (ILWSP). The broader ILWSP was developed in 1993 to provide municipal and industrial water to Wichita and surrounding region through the year 2050. The ASR component would collect water from the Little Arkansas River basin and pipe it into the local Equus Beds aquifer for recharge and storage. Water would later be recovered from wells in the aquifer and used for the region’s needs. The ASR component would become the ‘‘Equus Beds Division’’ of Reclamation’s Wichita Project after completion. Operation, maintenance, replacement, and liability of the new division would be the responsibility of the City of Wichita. Public Law 109–299 requires Reclamation to use, to the extent possible, the city’s plans, designs, and analyses. The Federal funding cap would be 25% of total costs, or $30 million (indexed to January 2003), whichever is less. The full scale ASR component is estimated to cost about $500 million and is designed to recharge the Equus Beds aquifer with up to 100 million gallons of water per day (MGD). Proposed Action: The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) proposes to enter into a cost-share agreement with the City of Wichita for the Equus Beds aquifer ASR component. The entire ASR component is designed as one project consisting of four main phases (I–IV). Details and diagrams of the project are provided in the Draft EIS. Phase I is complete and has the capacity to divert and recharge up to 10 MGD. Phase IIa is currently being developed by the City independent of Federal cost-sharing. The proposed cost-share agreement would guide Federal expenditures during Phases IIb through IV. These phases of the project are the focus of the EIS. Reclamation would not own or operate the project at any point during design, construction, implementation, or any other process. Reclamation would administer financing of Federal funds for the proposed action alternative identified as the 100 MGD ASR Plan with 60/40 VerDate Nov<24>2008 22:16 Jul 09, 2009 Jkt 217001 Option. This alternative would collect, pre-treat, and recharge the Equus Beds aquifer with 100 MGD of water collected from the Little Arkansas River basin. The 60/40 Option refers to the 60 percent that would come from surface water taken directly from the Little Arkansas River and forty percent from induced infiltration (ground) wells located along the river bank. Four recharge basins and 42 recharge wells connected by pipelines would be used to recharge the aquifer. Wells would be constructed outside of riparian zones where possible. Water pumped directly from the river would occur at two intakes. The first intake is at Halstead and was constructed during Phase I. The second intake is near Sedgwick and is being constructed as part of Phase IIa. The second intake would be modified during Phase IV to bring total ASR component diversion capacity to 100 MGD. When available, water would be piped to either the Phase I pre-sedimentation plant or to a second, proposed plant. Approximately 46 miles of pipeline, 62 miles of fiber optic cable, access roads, and other facilities would be built during Phases IIa–IV. The total cost of construction for the 100 MGD ASR Plan with 60/40 Option is currently estimated at about $500 million and includes about $115 million spent during Phases I and IIa. Purpose and Need for the Action: The first purpose of the ASR component is to provide a safe and reliable future source of drinking water for Wichita while restoring the Equus Beds water table. Federal funding is authorized to help implement the ASR project and defray costs that would otherwise be passed on to local customers. Approximately 32% of Wichita’s water supply comes from the Equus Beds. The aquifer also supplies irrigation and livestock water throughout the region. There are approximately 1,650 nondomestic water wells withdrawing about 157,000 acre-feet (51.2 billion gallons) of water per year from the aquifer. Use of the Equus Beds aquifer for both municipal and agricultural needs over the last 60 years has exceeded recharge. This has resulted in a drop in the water table of 40 feet in some places. Approximately 50% of the water used annually goes to agriculture, 34% to cities, 15% to industry, and 1% to other users. A second purpose is to protect water quality in the aquifer. The decline in the Equus Beds aquifer water table has allowed water with higher salt content to enter the aquifer. Saltwater encroachment has become a problem because as freshwater levels have dropped, saltwater has infiltrated from PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 33275 the Arkansas River and other sources. This change in gradient between fresh and saltwater allows the movement of poor quality water into the aquifer. Continuing saltwater encroachment will degrade water quality to the point where the water would require much more treatment to make it drinkable. In addition, the use of saline water for irrigation would damage crops, reduce soil productivity, and increase salt infiltration through soils. The ASR component would help maintain a safe gradient between fresh and saltwater sections, protecting the aquifer from saltwater encroachment. The ASR component is needed because population and resulting water demands of Wichita and surrounding areas are projected to increase markedly by 2050. Increasing demands and water use could further deplete the aquifer. The ASR component would provide a reliable and safe source of high quality water for Wichita’s future. The project would: • Store surface water underground thereby reducing evaporation and other losses. • Reduce the gradient between fresh and saltwater sections within the aquifer to protect water quality. • Capture surface water for storage during periods of high stream flow. • Protect stored water from shortterm, seasonal, annual, and long-term climate change. Alternatives: The Draft EIS addresses the effects of one action alternative and a no action alternative. The alternatives for Federal action evaluated in the Draft EIS include: (1) Proposed Action—Reclamation would enter into a cost share agreement to assist with construction of facilities and infrastructure to implement the 100 MGD ASR Plan with 60/40 Option. (2) No Action Alternative—Under ‘‘No Action,’’ Reclamation would not enter into a cost-share agreement for reimbursement to the City for project implementation costs. Public Disclosure Statement: Before including your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information— may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1 33276 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 131 / Friday, July 10, 2009 / Notices Dated: June 29, 2009. Michael J. Ryan, Regional Director, Great Plains Region. [FR Doc. E9–16043 Filed 7–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310–MN–P DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service General Management Plan, Environmental Impact Statement, Assateague Island National Seashore, Maryland and Virginia sroberts on DSKD5P82C1PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: National Park Service, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of Intent To Prepare a General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement, Assateague Island National Seashore. 22:16 Jul 09, 2009 Jkt 217001 Information related to the GMP/EIS planning process and ongoing public involvement opportunities will be provided online at the AINS Web site (http://www.nps.gov/asis) and on the NPS PEPC Web site (http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/asis). Requests to be added to the project mailing list may be made electronically through the NPS PEPC Web site or by directing requests to the contacts listed below. ADDRESSES: SUMMARY: Pursuant to section 102(2)(C) of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the National Park Service is preparing a General Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (GMP/EIS) for the Assateague Island National Seashore (AINS). The park comprises approximately 39,727 acres, located along the Atlantic coasts of Maryland and Virginia. Prepared by park staff and planners in the NPS Northeast Region, with assistance from advisors and consultants, the GMP/EIS will propose a long-term approach to managing the AINS. Consistent with the park’s purpose, NPS policy, and other laws and regulations, alternatives will be developed to guide the management of the park over the next 15 to 20 years. The GMP/EIS will address a range of management alternatives for natural and cultural resource protection, visitor use and interpretation, park carrying capacity, facilities development and operations. A ‘‘no action’’ alternative will also be considered and an agency preferred management alternative identified. The alternatives will incorporate various zoning and management prescriptions to ensure resource preservation and public appreciation of the park. The environmental consequences that could result from implementing the various alternatives will be evaluated for cultural and natural resources, visitor experience, park operations, and the socioeconomic environment. Major issues to be explored include: measures for the preservation of resources; indications of the types and general intensities of development; identification of, and implementation commitments for, visitor carrying VerDate Nov<24>2008 capacities; and indications of potential boundary modifications. Meeting Notices: The public is invited to express views, issues and concerns about the long-term management of the AINS early in the process through public meetings and other media; and will have an opportunity to review and comment on a draft GMP/EIS. Public scoping meetings will be announced by the NPS and noticed in local newspapers serving the area. Scoping and other periodic public meeting notices and information regarding the GMP/EIS will also be placed on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site (http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/asis) for continuing public review and comment. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Trish Kicklighter, Superintendent, Assateague Island National Seashore, 7206 National Seashore Lane, Berlin, MD 21811, Telephone: 410–641–1443. Megan Lang, Community Planner/ Project Manager, National Park Service, Park Planning and Special Studies, 200 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Telephone: 215 597–8875. If you wish to comment on the GMP/EIS, you may submit your comments by any one of several methods. You may mail comments to contacts listed above or you may submit comments electronically through the NPS PEPC Web site (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/ asis). Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dennis R. Reidenbach, Regional Director, Northeast Region, National Park Service. [FR Doc. E9–16327 Filed 7–9–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4312–60–P PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Park Service Notice of Availability Draft Environmental Impact Statement and White-Tailed Deer Management Plan; Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC AGENCY: National Park Service, Department of the Interior. ACTION: Notice of Availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement and White-Tailed Deer Management Plan for Rock Creek Park, Washington, DC. SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4332(2)(C), the National Park Service announces the availability of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and White-tailed Deer Management Plan for Rock Creek Park, Washington, District of Columbia. The White-tailed Deer Management Plan will support long-term protection, preservation, and restoration of native vegetation and other natural and cultural resources in Rock Creek Park. The DEIS describes four management alternatives, including the No Action Alternative (continue existing management) and three Action Alternatives, one of which is identified as the preferred alternative. DATES: A Notice of Intent (NOI) was published in the Federal Register on September 20, 2006 (71 FR 182). A 60day comment period was begun when the NOI was published. Public scoping meetings were held at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center November 1–2, 2006. Responses to public comment are addressed in the DEIS. The NPS will accept public comments on the DEIS until September 8, 2009. In addition, public meetings will be conducted at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center. Details on these public meetings will be available in local newspapers, on the NPS Web site http://www.nps.gov/rocr, or by contacting staff at Rock Creek Park by telephone at (202) 895–6000. ADDRESSES: The DEIS and White-tailed Deer Management Plan will be available for public review on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) Web site at http:// parkplanning.nps.gov/rocr by selecting the link ‘‘Deer Management Plan for Rock Creek Park.’’ Bound copies of the DEIS and White-tailed Deer Management Plan will also be available at the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, 5200 Glover Road, NW., Washington, DC; at Rock Creek Park Headquarters, 3545 Williamsburg Lane, NW., Washington, DC; and at public libraries adjacent to Rock Creek Park. E:\FR\FM\10JYN1.SGM 10JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 131 (Friday, July 10, 2009)]
[Notices]
[Pages 33274-33276]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-16043]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Reclamation


Equus Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project, Equus Beds 
Division, Wichita Project, KS

AGENCY: Bureau of Reclamation, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability of draft environmental impact statement 
(Draft EIS).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) has completed the Equus 
Beds Aquifer Recharge and Recovery Project Draft EIS. It is now 
available for public review and comment. The Draft EIS describes the 
development and environmental effects of two alternatives: (1) A no 
action alternative; and (2) an action alternative that meets the 
project purpose and need.
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
Service are cooperating agencies providing assistance in the 
preparation of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the 
guidance of NEPA.

DATES: A 60-day public comment period begins with the publication of 
this notice. Written comments on the Draft EIS are due by September 11, 
2009 and should be submitted to Reclamation listed in the ADDRESSES 
section.

ADDRESSES: Comments on the Draft EIS should be sent to the attention of 
Charles F. Webster, Bureau of Reclamation, 5924 NW. 2nd Street, Suite 
200, Oklahoma City, OK 73127-6514. Comments may also be submitted in 
writing by facsimile or e-mail. Send facsimiles to the attention of 
Charles F. Webster at 405-470-4807. Send e-mail to cwebster@usbr.gov 
with Equus Beds Draft EIS Comment as the subject line.
    Copies of the Draft EIS and related documents are available online 
from Reclamation's Web site at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/nepa/quarterly.cfm. Paper copies of the Draft EIS may be obtained by calling 
Charles F. Webster at 405-470-4831. Refer to the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section for locations of libraries and offices where copies 
of the Draft EIS are available for review.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Charles F. Webster at 405-470-4831 or 
cwebster@usbr.gov. Mail requests should be addressed to the Bureau of 
Reclamation at the address indicated in the ADDRESSES section.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Locations where the Draft EIS may be reviewed:
     Halstead Public Library, 264 Main, Halstead, Kansas 67056;
     Hutchinson Public Library, 901 North Main, Hutchinson, KS 
67501;
     Newton Public Library, 720 North Oak, Newton, KS 67114;
     Valley Center Public Library, 321 West First Street, 
Valley Center, KS 67147;
     Wichita Public Library, 223 South Main, Wichita, KS 67202;

[[Page 33275]]

     City of Wichita Water and Sewer Department, 455 North Main 
Street, 8th Floor, Wichita, KS 67202;
     Bureau of Reclamation, 5924 NW. 2nd Street, Suite 200, 
Oklahoma City, OK 73127.
    Background: The ``Wichita Project Equus Beds Division Authorization 
Act of 2005'' (Pub. L. 109-299) authorizes the Secretary of the 
Interior to help the City of Wichita, Kansas, complete the Aquifer 
Recharge (Storage), and Recovery component (ASR is the acronym for this 
specific component or project) of Wichita's Integrated Local Water 
Supply Plan (ILWSP). The broader ILWSP was developed in 1993 to provide 
municipal and industrial water to Wichita and surrounding region 
through the year 2050. The ASR component would collect water from the 
Little Arkansas River basin and pipe it into the local Equus Beds 
aquifer for recharge and storage. Water would later be recovered from 
wells in the aquifer and used for the region's needs. The ASR component 
would become the ``Equus Beds Division'' of Reclamation's Wichita 
Project after completion. Operation, maintenance, replacement, and 
liability of the new division would be the responsibility of the City 
of Wichita.
    Public Law 109-299 requires Reclamation to use, to the extent 
possible, the city's plans, designs, and analyses. The Federal funding 
cap would be 25% of total costs, or $30 million (indexed to January 
2003), whichever is less. The full scale ASR component is estimated to 
cost about $500 million and is designed to recharge the Equus Beds 
aquifer with up to 100 million gallons of water per day (MGD).
    Proposed Action: The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) proposes 
to enter into a cost-share agreement with the City of Wichita for the 
Equus Beds aquifer ASR component. The entire ASR component is designed 
as one project consisting of four main phases (I-IV). Details and 
diagrams of the project are provided in the Draft EIS. Phase I is 
complete and has the capacity to divert and recharge up to 10 MGD. 
Phase IIa is currently being developed by the City independent of 
Federal cost-sharing. The proposed cost-share agreement would guide 
Federal expenditures during Phases IIb through IV. These phases of the 
project are the focus of the EIS. Reclamation would not own or operate 
the project at any point during design, construction, implementation, 
or any other process.
    Reclamation would administer financing of Federal funds for the 
proposed action alternative identified as the 100 MGD ASR Plan with 60/
40 Option. This alternative would collect, pre-treat, and recharge the 
Equus Beds aquifer with 100 MGD of water collected from the Little 
Arkansas River basin. The 60/40 Option refers to the 60 percent that 
would come from surface water taken directly from the Little Arkansas 
River and forty percent from induced infiltration (ground) wells 
located along the river bank.
    Four recharge basins and 42 recharge wells connected by pipelines 
would be used to recharge the aquifer. Wells would be constructed 
outside of riparian zones where possible. Water pumped directly from 
the river would occur at two intakes. The first intake is at Halstead 
and was constructed during Phase I. The second intake is near Sedgwick 
and is being constructed as part of Phase IIa. The second intake would 
be modified during Phase IV to bring total ASR component diversion 
capacity to 100 MGD. When available, water would be piped to either the 
Phase I pre-sedimentation plant or to a second, proposed plant. 
Approximately 46 miles of pipeline, 62 miles of fiber optic cable, 
access roads, and other facilities would be built during Phases IIa-IV. 
The total cost of construction for the 100 MGD ASR Plan with 60/40 
Option is currently estimated at about $500 million and includes about 
$115 million spent during Phases I and IIa.
    Purpose and Need for the Action: The first purpose of the ASR 
component is to provide a safe and reliable future source of drinking 
water for Wichita while restoring the Equus Beds water table. Federal 
funding is authorized to help implement the ASR project and defray 
costs that would otherwise be passed on to local customers. 
Approximately 32% of Wichita's water supply comes from the Equus Beds. 
The aquifer also supplies irrigation and livestock water throughout the 
region. There are approximately 1,650 non-domestic water wells 
withdrawing about 157,000 acre-feet (51.2 billion gallons) of water per 
year from the aquifer. Use of the Equus Beds aquifer for both municipal 
and agricultural needs over the last 60 years has exceeded recharge. 
This has resulted in a drop in the water table of 40 feet in some 
places. Approximately 50% of the water used annually goes to 
agriculture, 34% to cities, 15% to industry, and 1% to other users.
    A second purpose is to protect water quality in the aquifer. The 
decline in the Equus Beds aquifer water table has allowed water with 
higher salt content to enter the aquifer. Saltwater encroachment has 
become a problem because as freshwater levels have dropped, saltwater 
has infiltrated from the Arkansas River and other sources. This change 
in gradient between fresh and saltwater allows the movement of poor 
quality water into the aquifer. Continuing saltwater encroachment will 
degrade water quality to the point where the water would require much 
more treatment to make it drinkable. In addition, the use of saline 
water for irrigation would damage crops, reduce soil productivity, and 
increase salt infiltration through soils. The ASR component would help 
maintain a safe gradient between fresh and saltwater sections, 
protecting the aquifer from saltwater encroachment.
    The ASR component is needed because population and resulting water 
demands of Wichita and surrounding areas are projected to increase 
markedly by 2050. Increasing demands and water use could further 
deplete the aquifer. The ASR component would provide a reliable and 
safe source of high quality water for Wichita's future. The project 
would:
     Store surface water underground thereby reducing 
evaporation and other losses.
     Reduce the gradient between fresh and saltwater sections 
within the aquifer to protect water quality.
     Capture surface water for storage during periods of high 
stream flow.
     Protect stored water from short-term, seasonal, annual, 
and long-term climate change.
    Alternatives: The Draft EIS addresses the effects of one action 
alternative and a no action alternative. The alternatives for Federal 
action evaluated in the Draft EIS include:
    (1) Proposed Action--Reclamation would enter into a cost share 
agreement to assist with construction of facilities and infrastructure 
to implement the 100 MGD ASR Plan with 60/40 Option.
    (2) No Action Alternative--Under ``No Action,'' Reclamation would 
not enter into a cost-share agreement for reimbursement to the City for 
project implementation costs.
    Public Disclosure Statement: Before including your name, address, 
telephone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying 
information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire 
comment--including your personal identifying information--may be made 
publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to 
withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we 
cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.


[[Page 33276]]


    Dated: June 29, 2009.
Michael J. Ryan,
Regional Director, Great Plains Region.
[FR Doc. E9-16043 Filed 7-9-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4310-MN-P