On October 15, 2019, the Gove County District Court upheld the Chief Engineer’s GMD 4 LEMA decision in Friesen vs. Barfield.
This case was filed under the Kansas Judicial Review Act after a public hearing was held by the Chief Engineer and the subsequent adoption of the District Wide Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) in Groundwater Management District No. 4 in Northwest Kansas. The case was brought by multiple petitioners who are required under the LEMA Plan to reduce the amount of groundwater withdrawn over the next five-years. Petitioners challenged whether the reductions in water use can be made without those cuts being based on priority (date the water right was approved) and generally challenged the lawfulness of any cuts or use of a LEMA pursuant to K.S.A. 82a-1041.
In conclusion, the Court found that the “GMD4 District Wide LEMA should be upheld. The LEMA Plan restrictions do not appear to be unconstitutional on their face or as applied. There is substantial evidence backing the agency’s decision and therefore it is not arbitrary or capricious.”
For more information see: https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/GMD4LEMA…