Introduction: COVID is changing how we do water meetings, but not stopping them. One advantage is that most of them are more accessible than ever. Below are details on upcoming meetings including:
- A May 20 Kansas Water Authority meeting
- Upcoming meetings of the state’s Groundwater Management Districts (GMDs), starting with this week’s meetings of GMD 3 and GMD 5 (we keep an updated list on our GMD page: https://kwrconsulting.com/gmds/)
Also below are links to recent webinars on the Ogallala, available online for viewing.
Finally, the courts continue to work. Below are updates on two recent decisions related to 1) GMD 4’s LEMA and 2) the Hays/Russell change applications.
- May 13, GMD 3 Board meeting, 9:00 AM, call in only. Call in number 1-888-450-5996, Guest Code 103373. Agenda and Board book will be posted at GMD3.org.
- May 13, Big Blue Compact meeting, 9:30, Zoom meeting. For more: https://www.agriculture.ks.gov/BBRC
- May 14, GMD 5 Board meeting, 7:00 PM. Zoom audio/video conference: Meeting ID: 864 9005 7922; Video Call: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86490057922; Audio Call: (312) 626-6799. Board packet at: http://weather.gmd5.org/GMD5_Data/Misc/Packets/2020-05-06_Packet.pdf
- May 20, GMD 1 Board meeting, 8:00 AM (CT). Check their website for updates.
- May 20, Kansas Water Authority meeting, 1-3 PM. For more information:
- June 3 – GMD 4 Board meeting, 10:00 AM CT, GMD 4 Office. Meeting Materials (PDF) to be posted at: http://gmd4.org/BoardMeetings.html
- Status of the Ogallala Aquifer and GMD 4 conservation activities – on April 29, 2020, the Kansas Water Office hosted a webinar related to the Ogallala Aquifer. The webinar featured Brownie Wilson of the Kansas Geological Survey on the State of Ogallala Aquifer and Shannon Kenyon, Manager of the Northwest Kansas GMD 4, discussing their conservation efforts. The presentation can be accessed at: https://www.kwo.ks.gov/news-events/kwo-webinars.
- The Weight of Water: Values, Civic Engagement, and Collaborative Groundwater Management on the U.S. High Plains, Stephan Lauer, KSU. On May 1, Stephan presented findings of an Ogallala CAP funded project that looked at producers’ attitudes towards water conservation and some of the success stories of grassroots collaborative groundwater management (like the Wichita County Water Conservation Area) to determine how such efforts can be expanded. This presentation is fairly technical, being orientated toward researchers, but the link that follows, in addition to having the presentation, includes accessible summaries of the research for the rest of us: http://ogallalawater.org/producer-attitudes/.
- Judicial Review, GMD 4 LEMA. On June 13, 2018, a petition for judicial review of the Chief Engineer’s April 13, 2018 order of designation was filed in the Gove County District Court. On October 15, 2019, the Gove County District Court upheld the order as constitutional. On November 11, 2019, the plaintiffs filed a motion with the Court requesting it alter or amend its decision. On April 20, 2020, the Gove County District Court declined. See the Friesen vs. Barfield table at: https://agriculture.ks.gov/gmd4lema. The next step could be an appeal to the Kansas Court of Appeals.
- Judicial Review, Hays R9 change application approval. On March 27, 2019, the chief engineer contingently approved the change applications of the cities of Hays and Russell to convert the irrigation rights of the R9 Ranch in Edwards County to municipal use for the cities. On May 29, 2019, WaterPACK filed a petition for judicial review in Edwards County District Court. Over recent months, the Court and parties have been working principally through issues related to discovery. On April 27, 2020 the Court ruled on the parties’ motions and pleadings in this regard. With this done, the Court has provided the parties with a schedule that will have the remaining pleadings complete on August 17, 2020. See https://agriculture.ks.gov/HaysR9