Kansas or Kaw, river, 170 mi (274 km) long, formed by the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers in NE Kansas and flowing E to the Missouri River at Kansas City; the system drains parts of Kansas, Nebraska, and Colorado. Heavy floods (especially in 1951 and 1977) on the Kansas and its tributaries caused great damage to the surrounding farms and Kansas City area. Numerous dams, reservoirs, and levees have since been built to prevent flooding.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.