Arkansas River Compact Administration to Meet December 7 in Garden City

The Arkansas River Compact Administration (ARCA) annual meeting will be held on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. CST at the Clarion Inn, 1911 E Kansas Ave. in Garden City. The meeting agenda is posted on ARCA’s website at www.co-ks-arkansasrivercompactadmin.org.

ARCA administers provisions of the Kansas–Colorado Arkansas River Compact, including operations of the John Martin Reservoir. Topics to be covered at the annual meeting include a review of John Martin Reservoir operations, compliance update, committee reports, and updates from state and federal agencies. ARCA will consider the continued use of a new source water to replace evaporation and potentially fill the John Martin Reservoir recreation account. A specific project that will be reviewed is the inspection of the stilling basin below John Martin Reservoir that is being done during the non-irrigation season.

ARCA’s Engineering, Operations, and Administrative and Legal committees will meet on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, starting at 1:00 p.m. CST, also at the Clarion Inn.

The annual meeting and committee meetings are open to the public. Individuals who require special accommodation should notify Stephanie Gonzales at 719-734-5367 at least three days prior to the meeting.

The Kansas-Colorado Arkansas River Compact was negotiated in 1948 between Kansas and Colorado with participation by the federal government. Its stated purposes are to settle existing disputes and remove causes of future controversy between Colorado and Kansas regarding Arkansas River water and to equitably divide and apportion the water between Colorado and Kansas, including benefits arising from John Martin Reservoir.

Tags: Arkansas River Compact, GardenCityFO, interstate, ARCA

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Wichita ASR Dec 11 hearing scope narrowed to public comments; second hearing to follow

Below is a summary of additional motions and subsequent decisions related to the hearing(s) in connection with the City of Wichita’s requested changes to its Aquifer Storage and Recovery permits.

  • On Oct. 26, an order was issued admitting additional parties to the formal proceeding.
  • On Nov. 3, the new parties filed a motion to extend preparation timelines and requesting the hearing be postponed to allow more time to prepare. GMD 2 filed a motion to support; the City opposed.
  • On Nov. 12, Chief Engineer Barfield issued an order on these motions which: 1) left the Public Hearing scheduled for Dec. 11, 2018 in Wichita in place but limiting the hearing to individual public comments, 2) determined there would be a second public hearing for the purpose of conducting the formal phase of the hearing, and 3) extended the deadline for the close of discovery to Dec. 21, 2018.
  • Following a call on Nov. 16, an order was issued tentatively setting Feb. 13 for the second, formal phase hearing and established other preparation deadlines.

See our web site for copies of the motions, orders and related matters:  http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/WichitaASR

Tags: WichitaASR, StaffordFO, GMD2

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Retired KDA-DWR Chief Engineer David Pope receives 2018 Water Legacy Award

At the 2018 Governor’s Water Conference, retired Chief Engineer of the Kansas Dept. of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources, David L. Pope, received the 2018 Water Legacy Award for his outstanding and enduring contributions to Kansas water management.  Here is a link to a video with Tracy Streeter’s remarks and the presentation of the award: https://youtu.be/J_bo7A2eeck.

Below is the text of nomination document, signed by over 30 individuals of diverse background including a former Kansas Governor, a retired Colorado state engineer, numerous water attorneys, members of state and federal agencies, current and retired GMD managers, academics, current and former DWR personnel, and more.

Throughout his career, David Pope has worked to define and implement the modern water resource management principles used in Kansas today. Starting with his role as manager of Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 3 (1976-1978), through five years as Assistant Chief Engineer of the Division of Water Resources (DWR) (1978-1983), and 24 years as Chief Engineer of DWR (1983-2007), Mr. Pope spearheaded many groundbreaking initiatives. David Pope’s many important initiatives and accomplishments include:

  • Administration of Minimum Desirable Streamflows (MDS)
  • Water use reporting system
  • Kansas v. Colorado (Arkansas River)
  • Walnut Creek Intensive Groundwater Use Control Area (IGUCA)
  • Kansas v. Nebraska (Republican River)
  • Installation of water flow meters on points of diversion
  • Transition to safe yield policies for allocation of water
  • Numerous other effective and fair regulatory and management innovations such as 5-year water use allocations
  • Promotion of professional licensing for engineers and geologists with whom he worked

However, the most important thing Mr. Pope brought to his role, indeed to any endeavor in which he participated, was integrity. He exemplified the utmost in ethical leadership and good governance. Every decision he made as Chief Engineer was driven by a desire to protect both our water resources and the ability of the people of Kansas to use them beneficially. Decisions were based on solid science and adherence to the law, shaped by a keen understanding of how to bring others to consensus on difficult issues. Mr. Pope trusted and valued the input of those who worked for him and with him. Never did his choices or policies hinge on whose interest was at stake, including his own. He was humble, but unwavering in the pursuit of what he thought right, facing his detractors with civility, compassion, and respect. Throughout his career he earned the trust of virtually everyone in the water community, in Kansas and across the western states.

For his relentless efforts to improve the effective long-term management of water in Kansas, this most important of resources, we nominate David L. Pope for the 2018 Water Legacy Award.

Tags: RRCA, ARCA, Interstate, chief engineer, IGUCA

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Republican River Compact extends Colorado deadlines to retire South Fork acres

On November 6, the Republican River Compact Administration held a brief special meeting to adopt a resolution to extend by 2 years the deadlines by which Colorado will retire 25,000 acres from irrigation in the South Fork Republican River to increase streamflow into Kansas. The extension was requested by Colorado because the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) modifications Colorado sought took longer than expected to be implemented by the federal Farm Service Agency.

The requirement to retire the additional acres is part of the state’s long-term resolution passed in 2016. For more information: http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/RRCA

Tags: RRCA, northwest KS, South Fork Republican River

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GMD 5 LEMA web page updated with GMD-KDA correspondence and US FWS response to Audubon

KDA’s web page on GMD 5’s development of a proposal Local Enhancement Management Area (LEMA) to resolve the Quivira impairment has been updated with the following:

  1. Recent correspondence between KDA and GMD 5 regarding LEMA plan development. Most recently, KDA expressed its commitment to continue to work toward a workable solution that addresses impairment without devastating the local economy, stating it will develop some specifics to be provided to the GMD Board and the Basin water users in the coming weeks.
  2. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s response to Audubon of Kansas’ August 17 letter, which called on both the Service and KDA DWR to act immediately to remedy the impairment.

More at: http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/GMD5LEMA

Tags: GMD5LEMA, GMD5, Quivira, impairment

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Wichita Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) hearing rescheduled to Dec 11, scope of hearing narrowed

On September 4, GMD 2 filed a motion requesting additional time to prepare for the hearing. This precipitated a series of additional filings by the parties and additional pre-hearing conferences calls.  On Sept. 20, the City of Wichita requested their new applications be withdrawn.

After discussion at the September 26 pre-hearing conference, it was agreed the hearing would be postponed to December 11 and the scope of the hearing would be narrowed, dropping the consideration of the City’s withdrawn new applications.

Thus, the public hearing in the matter of Wichita’s proposed changes to Phase II of its ASR project will be held on December 11, 2018, starting at 9:00 a.m. at American Ag Credit, located at 4105 North Ridge Road, Wichita, Kansas, 67205, to be continued on December 12 if needed.

More details on these matters are available at: http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/WichitaASR

Tags: WichitaASR, GMD2, StaffordFO

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