Republican River Basin: Special Master William Kayatta, Jr. reduces Nebraska’s damages to $5.5 million

Republican River Basin
Republican River Basin

Here’s a report the Imperial Republican (Russ Pankonin) via The Yuma Pioneer. Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:

Last Friday’s report by Special Master William Kayatta, Jr. gave Nebraska the upper hand in a dispute between Kansas and Nebraska that dates back to 2010.

“The decision could have only been $5.5 million better,” said Upper Republican Manager Jasper Fanning. Kayatta said Kansas was entitled to damages of $5.5 million versus the $80 million they had sought.

Fanning said the only way the report could have been more favorable for Nebraska was if Kansas hadn’t gotten any damages at all, he noted. Fanning said the reduction in damages was important. But even bigger was a change in the accounting process that ultimately determines how much water is available to Nebraska, he added. That will be worth many times more over the years than the $5.5 million Nebraska will have to pay Kansas, Fanning said.

In addition to the accounting change, Kayatta said Nebraska should not be charged for evaporation that occurred from Harlan County reservoir in 2006.

These two rulings will gain the basin from 16,000 to 18,000 acre feet towards water use calculations for 2007.

In addition, the accounting change will result in additional water supply annually, Fanning said. That additional water will be a boost in helping Nebraska stay in compliance with the 2002 settlement agreement reached with Kansas over basin water supplies, he added.

More Republican River Basin coverage here and here.

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