Wichita ASR matter delegated, March 26 hearing postponed

On March 19, 2019 Chief Engineer Barfield delegated to Constance (Connie) Owens the authority to serve as the presiding officer in the matter of considering Wichita’s proposed changes to its Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project, postponing the formal phase of the public hearing previously scheduled for March 26, 2019. Hearing Officer Owen will conduct a hearing among the formal parties and provide written recommendations to the Chief Engineer based on the record after such hearings are complete. 

A new date for the formal phase of the hearing will be announced in the near future.

KDA-DWR web site related to Wichita’s proposed changes to its ASR has been updated with the parties’ filings (expert reports, motions), as well as the latest orders from the Chief Engineer. https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/WichitaASR

Tags: ASR, GMD2, StaffordFO, Wichita, Equus Beds

Continue Reading →

KDA–DWR Exceeds Goals in Online Water Use Reporting

As 2019 began, the KDA-DWR initiated a statewide effort to assist water users in online filing of water use reports, in an effort to save resources and improve efficiency. As the March 1 deadline to file the 2018 annual water use reports passed, KDA–DWR found that 86 percent of all total water use reports were completed online, representing 91 percent of all water rights in the state. This greatly exceeded KDA’s expectations. Last year only 27 percent of water use reports were filed online.  

For the 2018 water use reporting period, KDA implemented a $20 per water right paper fee for those water right holders that reported their water use using the paper forms, while the online reporting option was free to the water users. Less than 8 percent of total water users submitted their reports in paper form this year, compared to nearly 73 percent last year.  

The online water use reporting system has been in use by KDA-DWR and under continued development by the Kansas Geological Survey for the last six years. The system cuts down on staff time required to collect, enter and review data from the paper reports, allowing the division to share the data faster with other agencies and organizations. The program continues to receive useful input regarding the online filing system and will keep developing it to be more user friendly in future years.  

Efforts to increase the use of the online reporting system involved instructional videos as well as meetings and individual upport from KDA staff, especially at KDA field offices in Garden City, Parsons, Stafford, Stockton and Topeka. In addition, the outreach efforts were supported by several partners across the state, including the Kansas Rural Water Association, staff at KGS, Natural Resources Conservation Service offices, local irrigation companies, and groundwater management districts.  

This success of the online water use reporting system will be a great benefit to the state, as it will improve efficiency in collecting and reviewing water use data. Water use data is essential for management of the state’s resources. Each owner of a water right is required by law to submit a complete and accurate water use report every year. This process ensures that the people of Kansas — and officials responsible for managing or monitoring water resources — have access to complete information about how water is used. For more information about water use reporting, contact KDA–DWR at 785-564-6640 or visit agriculture.ks.gov/WaterUse.

Tags: wateruse, field offices, GMDs





Continue Reading →

Formal hearing for Wichita ASR proposals set for March 26

The formal phase of the public hearing on proposed modifications to the permitting of Wichita’s existing Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project will be held on March 26, 2019, continuing to March 27 if needed. The public hearing will be held at ICM, Inc. 125 N. 1st Street, Suites 2 and 3, Colwich, KS.

While this phase is principally for the former parties, it is open to the public and verbal comments from the public will be accepted at 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m on March 26.

Wichita’s proposal, a brief summary, public comments received to date including transcript of the December 11 meeting, and more available on the KDA’s web site at https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/WichitaASR

Tags: ASR, GMD2, StaffordFO, Wichita, Equus Beds

Continue Reading →

Court of Appeals rules on Garetson impairment case

On January 11, the Court of Appeals issued its ruling regarding the Haskell County groundwater impairment case of Garetson Brothers vs. American Warrior Inc. The decision is posted on KDA’s web site at: https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/divisions-programs/dwr/water-appropriation/impairment-complaints/vested-right-haskell-03, along with a previous Court of Appeals’ decision, the District Court’s decision, and Chief Engineer reports on the matter.

This decision upholds the permanent injunction issued by the Haskell County District Court against pumping by the nearby junior water rights found to be impairing the Garetson Brothers’ senior water right, rejecting the defendant’s procedural challenges.

tags: legal, impairment, GMD3, GardenCityFO

Continue Reading →

GMD 5 proposed update to management program approved

On Jan 2, 2019, the Chief Engineer found the Big Bend Groundwater Management District (GMD) No. 5’s proposed update to its management plan to be consistent with state law and policy and thus approved it. The next step required in the GMD Act is a public hearing held by the GMD board on the proposed update. It is expected the GMD Board will consider the matter of setting the hearing date and location at next week’s regular board meeting (see gmd5.org for specifics on their meetings).

The Chief Engineer’s transmittal letter with his approval makes several suggestions for the Board to consider in its next update to the Management Program. The letter and proposed management plan update is at: https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/gmds.

Note: the Management Program should not be confused with GMD 5’s LEMA proposal to address the Quivira impairment. See https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/GMD5LEMA for these matters.

Tags: GMD, GMD5, StaffordFO

Continue Reading →

Wateruse fee for filing paper forms; online filing free

Beginning with this 2018 annual water use reporting period, KDA will charge a $20 per water right filing fee when the report is submitted to KDA’s Division of Water Resources (DWR) on a paper form. Fees can be avoided, however, by reporting annual water use online, through DWR’s electronic water use filing system. The fees are being imposed in order to promote greater adoption of online filing, which in turn helps the agency achieve long-term cost savings

During December, KDA-DWR sent notice to all water right owners and water use correspondents of the fee for paper filing and our enhanced support for free, on-line filing of wateruse reports.

KDA-DWR has been working to ramp up support for filing on-line. Free assistance for online reporting is available from KDA via our website (including video tutorials), by phone, or in person at any of DWR’s field offices. KDA-DWR is currently developing additional outreach to assist water users at other locations which will be listed on our web site in the near future.

More can be found on our web page at: http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/wateruse

Tags: wateruse, field offices, GMDs

Continue Reading →