Chief Engineer’s action on GMD 5 LEMA plan and path forward on Quivira Impairment

On July 30, 2019, Chief Engineer David Barfield provided a formal response to GMD No. 5’s Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) plan aimed to resolve the Quivira impairment, stating he was unable to move forward with their request to initiate proceedings to consider the plan as it failed to include measures sufficient to meet its stated goal and other statutory requirements. After nearly two years of work on the LEMA concept, KDA and GMD5 have been unable to agree on a LEMA plan that resolves the impairment. The Chief Engineer’s letter can be found here.

In his letter, Chief Engineer Barfield also announced his intention to develop administrative orders by approx. September 1, 2019, to be effective January 1, 2020, to implement water use reductions in the basin to begin addressing the Quivira impairment, and in particular, the ongoing declines in streamflows (see below) into the Refuge with its reductions in water quantity and water quality.  These orders are the first of a three-pronged solution to the impairment, providing initial action to remedy the impairment, while providing time for the Basin to develop the other two components:

  • A proposed augmentation project.
  • The retirement of 4400 acre-feet of use in the high-impact area (Zone D).

To maximize flexibility in use, DWR will work with local water users to develop a Water Conservation Area (WCA) to create multi-year allocations and allow movement of allocations between water rights.

While required water use reductions will vary among water users based on the seniority of their water rights (with older rights getting larger allocations) and their historic use, the reductions will average under 15% from long-term use.

A public meeting is anticipated during mid-September.

A map of the affected area is shown below.

More information related to this matter can be found on the following websites:

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Quivira/GMD 5 updates: GMD 5 public meeting / Congressmen write U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

On August 27, GMD 5 held a public meeting on its Proposed Rattlesnake Creek / Quivira Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA). GMD 5 has updated its web site at https://gmd5.org/proposed-rsc-lema to include the materials presented at the meeting as well as a video recording of the presentations and Q &A session.

Both Kansas Senators as well as two Representatives have written the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking they provide technical assistance related to augmentation to support the basin’s efforts to find a remedy for the impairment.  The letter is posted on our web site at: http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/GMD5LEMA

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Response to Audubon’s letter on Quivira and feedback to GMD 5 LEMA plan posted

As reported earlier, on August 10, GMD 5 developed a new draft of its proposed LEMA plan to resolve the Quivira impairment complaint and on August 17, the Audubon of Kansas wrote a letter calling on both the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Division to act immediately to remedy the impairment.  On KDA’s web site, we have posted our latest input to GMD 5 on their LEMA plan and a response to Audubon of Kansas on their request.  See  http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/Quivira and http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/GMD5LEMA

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GMD 5 updates proposed LEMA plan for Quivira impairment, plans August 27 public meeting

On August 10, GMD 5 developed a new draft of its proposed LEMA plan to resolve the Quivira impairment complain. GMD 5 plans to host a public meeting to discuss the plan on August 27 (see gmd5.org/calendar for details.  The revised plan as well as KDA feedback on their July draft plan is at agriculture.ks.gov/GMD5LEMA

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