Republican River Basin: Nebraska and Kansas reject Colorado’s proposed compliance pipeline

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Nebraska and Kansas didn’t go for the idea of a pipeline dumping water at the Nebraska border as being the same as an equal amount of water in the river. Here’s a report from Tony Rayl writing for the Yuma Pioneer via the Holyoke Enterprise. From the article:

Kansas and Nebraska formally rejected Colorado’s plans for a compact compliance pipeline, Tuesday morning, but it appears there is hope the states are getting closer to resolving their various issues. That is due to the fact that, instead of Colorado immediately calling for arbitration after Tuesday’s vote, State Engineer Dick Wolfe called for a continuation of the special meeting to a yet-determined date in two to three weeks. Kansas and Nebraska each agreed to the continuation. Tuesday’s telephone gathering was an official meeting of the Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA). Wolfe is Colorado’s commissioner on the RRCA. His counterparts in Kansas and Nebraska, David Barfield and Brian Dunningan, respectively, are the other commissioners…

In the end, it came down to the three state engineers. Dunningan of Nebraska said the state supports Colorado’s efforts to receive approval. However, Nebraska still has issues with protecting the surface water users along the Haigler Canal, and limiting the volume of water delivered by the pipeline as Nebraska then is responsible for sending on the water to Kansas, and there will be evaporation in the process. Barfield recognized Colorado’s “significant” efforts to get into compliance. However, significant concerns remain for Kansas, particularly in regards to sub-basin compliance along the South Fork of the Republican River. “For this reason, Kansas will be voting ‘No’,” Barfield said. He added, though, that Kansas believes the states can continue to find a resolution for the pipeline plan…

Wolfe said Colorado recognizes there are issues still not resolved, but Colorado was ready to entertain a motion to approve the pipeline. Barfield approved the motion, then he and Dunningan voted against, while Wolfe voted in favor. Wolfe then requested the meeting be continued for two to three weeks, with the states continuing negotiations in the interim. Kansas and Nebraska agreed to the continuation. The specific date will be announced at a later date, after the parties involved can coordinate when all three will be available.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.

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