Republican River Basin: Kansas and Nebraska respond to arbitrators ruling in Republican River spat

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From the Omaha World Herald (David Hendee):

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said Nebraska’s overuse of Republican River water is unacceptable.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said he remains hopeful that despite differences with “our neighbors, this matter can be settled outside of court.”

Both states accepted some parts of the decision and rejected others.

Nebraska agreed that it owed Kansas a token $10,000 in damages for farmer’s overuse of Republican River water in 2005 and 2006. Kansas once claimed $72 million in damages.

Kansas rejected the arbitrator’s recommendations limiting damages, on a proposed remedy and that sanctions must await additional violations by Nebraska.

Kansas accepted the arbitrator’s statement that Nebraska’s attempts to comply are inadequate and that Nebraska should further reduce the amount of groundwater farmers pump to irrigate crops.

Nebraska rejected the arbitrator’s recommendation that Nebraska and the Upper, Middle and Lower Republican Natural Resources Districts should make deeper cutbacks in the amount of groundwater pumped.

And Nebraska rejected the idea that a federal river master should take control of water use in the Republican valley.

More Coyote Gulch Republican River Basin coverage here.

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