Republican River Basin: Kansas asks the U.S. Supreme Court to find Nebraska in contempt of court

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From the Salina Journal (Michael Strand):

Through much of the 1990s, Kansas and Nebraska argued in court over water usage, with the dispute being settled in 2002 and the U.S. Supreme Court adopting the settlement as a court order, Barfield said. The first measure of Nebraska’s compliance, Barfield said, was in 2005 and 2006. “Nebraska used 80,000 acre-feet more than allowed,” Barfield said; that’s roughly the amount of water a city of 100,000 would use over 10 years.

More coverage from Bruce Finley writing for The Denver Post. From the article:

Towns and farmers in Kansas “have been deprived of the water they rely upon,” Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said. He vowed to “continue this fight until Nebraska complies with our agreement.”[…]

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers expressed disappointment at the slide into litigation. “We have seen in the past that litigation is not an effective or efficient alternative for resolution of interstate disputes,” Suthers said. Suthers called on Nebraska and Kansas “to sit down with us” to hash out a solution…

Kansas officials have been trying to bring groundwater pumping along the river in Nebraska under control. Past agreements were aimed at letting states monitor and control water use to comply with the 1942 compact, which allotted 300,000 acre-feet a year for Nebraska, 240,000 acre-feet a year for Kansas and 40,000 acre-feet a year for Colorado. Kansas officials argue that Kansas is losing 16 percent of its water under the compact.

More Republican River Basin coverage here and here.

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