Abstract Concerns about the efficiency and economic soundness of the Kansas groundwater monitoring program led to a systematic redesign of this network, a tentative phase of which is presented in this study. The objectives of this paper include monitoring of major aquifers within each groundwater management district at a spatially more uniform level of accuracy, elimination of redundant measurements and optimization of the information gained from each observation well. The theory of regionalized variables is employed to estimate the amount of spatial variability of the water table, on which the network design is based. This study shows that it is not practical to attempt to reduce the already existing level of uncertainty uniformly throughout the various districts; to do so would tremendously increase the cost of well monitoring, which is already very high. Assuming that the currently existing network is satisfactory for the State's objectives, a reduced network consisting of one well every 6.4 km is equally satisfactory. The reduced network yields district-wide maps that do not differ significantly from those produced using the present network and at the same time it reduces the already-existing network by 18–47%. Therefore, adoption of a rearranged square well network is recommended, which is reduced to a 6.4-km spacing to achieve both a uniform level of information about the water table and a minimum required accuracy.