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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KDA and KWO host Oct. 2 in St. Francis meeting to discuss Upper Republican Basin issues

The Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Kansas Water Office are hosting an informational meeting and forum on October 2, 2018 at the Cheyenne County Fairgrounds in St Francis, Kansas to discuss Upper Republican River Basin issues including how to best invest $2 million in the basin’s water resources and options for Bonny Reservoir. The meeting announcement, proposed agenda, and background documents can be found at KDA’s our new web page for Upper Republican basin issues at: http://www.agriculture.ks.gov/upperrepublican.

Tags: RRCA, StocktonFO

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Republican River Compact Administration launches web site

The states of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska have collaboratively developed a new, joint web site, republicanriver.org, as the official web site of the RRCA.  It includes an overview of the compact and its administration, its committee and their work, the RRCA’s annual reports and other historic documents, the RRCA’s accounting of water, and links to the states’ web sites for much more.

Tags: RRCA, Compact

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Governor Colyer sends letter to Nebraska opposing proposed Inter-basin Transfer

On August 8, Governor Colyer sent a letter to Nebraska expressing opposition to the proposed Inter-basin Transfer from the Platte River to the Republican River Basin as it would provide a path for invasive species of fish to enter the Basin. For more: agriculture.ks.gov/RRCA

Tags: RRCA, StocktonFO, TopekaFO, Compact

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Kansas, Colorado reach agreement on Republican River Water Usage

On August 1, 2018, the states of Kansas and Colorado announced that they reached agreement on claims regarding Colorado’s past use of water under the Compact.  Under the agreement, Colorado agrees to pay Kansas $2 million and in addition to invest an additional $2 million in Colorado to reduce its use on the South Fork immediately above Kansas.  The agreement resolves the existing controversies between the two states regarding Colorado’s past use of water under the Republican River Compact without litigation, and allows them to continue to work collaboratively through the compact as part of an overall ongoing effort which also involves the state of Nebraska.

See agriculture.ks.gov/RRCA for more, including a copy of the agreement.

Tags: RRCA, StocktonFO, Compact

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