Our Water Sources

Water Source DiagramFresh Water Sources

WaterOne draws its water from the Kansas and Missouri Rivers and adjacent collector wells, providing fresh water to our customers every day of the year.

Our customers gain advantages from diversifying our water sources. We have less vulnerability during drought and an ample supply of fresh water.

Managing the Rivers

The federal Corps of Engineers manages river systems - including the Kansas and Missouri Rivers - to ensure wise management of river flow and sustainable ecosystems. WaterOne works closely with the Corps, the Kansas Water Office, and fellow municipal and industrial water users as a responsible steward of these natural resources.

WaterOne's Stewardship Role

As the largest water utility in Kansas, WaterOne has a responsibility to be a leader among its peers. Our staff and leadership monitor and participates in advisory committees and interest groups involved with river policy, advocacy, preservation, and management. We also stay engaged in statewide, regional, and national conversations about water resources and water quality.

Kansas represents a unique divergence of geographical access to water resources, so water policy is not a "one-size-fits-all" solution. As the dividing line to the prairie and high plains, northeast Kansas and parts of southeast Kansas are verdant with ample supply to fresh ground and surface water. Moving westward, communities in central and western Kansas rely on aquifers, reservoirs, and groundwater wells. These areas are naturally more arid but also have a greater agricultural base. They recognize challenges ahead in ensuring a sustainable localized water supply.

Although we are fortunate to have robust water resources in northeast Kansas, WaterOne stays engaged in statewide water policy. It remains an important conversation, affecting the state economy and our neighbor Kansans.

Assurance Districts

To better ensure we're anticipating and providing for our customers' needs, a number of years ago WaterOne became a member of Kansas River Water Assurance District Number 1. We joined over a dozen other municipal and industrial water users to invest in the construction of federal reservoirs at Milford, Tuttle Creek, and Perry Lake. In exchange for our investment in the reservoirs, the partners in the assurance district have a "right of first refusal" to use stored reservoir resources. There are three assurance districts in Kansas; the others are organized on the Marais des Cygnes River and the Cottonwood and Neosho River Basins.

The purpose of these districts is to ensure a more level supply of water by managing releases from upstream federal reservoirs during drier times of the year. These federal reservoirs provide an added recreational benefit, secondary to public water supply. At WaterOne, we value opportunities to ensure our customers have a safe, reliable supply of water.

Learn more about our treatment process.