COFFEY COUNTY, Kan. - Two eastern Kansas reservoirs play a big part in powering 800,000 homes in Kansas and Missouri.
Coffey County Lake, just outside Burlington, provides cooling for the Wolf Creek Generating Station, a nuclear power plant. Cooling water is essential for generating electricity.
Like most Kansas reservoirs, levels are sufficient at Coffey County Lake despite the drought. However, officials are watching the nearby John Redmond Reservoir, which supplies Coffey County Lake.
Right now, John Redmond Reservoir is 58 percent of normal, which equals out to three feet low. If drought conditions continue, Redmond could become 95 percent dry by November. That is why water conservation plans are in place along the Neosho River.
"We're trying to take measures to manage the reservoirs and the releases as closely as possible so that we're not releasing any water that's not necessary downstream," said Earl Lewis, assistant director at the Kansas Water Office.
Power plant spokesperson Jenny Hageman said there is no immediate threat of a shutdown at the power plant.
Lewis said even if John Redmond Reservoir becomes extremely low, Coffey County Lake has enough water storage so the plant can continue operating for many months.