A state legislative panel will take a look at payments associated with interstate water compacts this summer. One of the sponsors, Senator Cap Dierks of Ewing, says much of the meeting will deal with the Republican River agreements with Colorado and Kansas, which he says will be in litigation for a long time.
Dierks says Kansas is making an effort to bring up the issue, saying Nebraska has held back the water Kansas is due for a long time. He says Kansas is demanding not only payment for that water but interest on the payment. Dierks says paying back money held for those water rights has been difficult.
He says a large sum of money was collected and held in escrow and with changing ownerships over the years, the situation with paying the money back became, in his words, “kind of a wreck.” Dierks says they want to take another look at how those water rights should be paid.
“We need to take a good look at that,” Dierks says. “Whoever’s going to pay it is going to feel like they’ve been picked on. We need to figure out some way to make it as easy as we can for them.”
Dierks says Nebraska has been in court with Kansas several times on the water issue and has “escaped the hatchet.” He says he hopes the state can somehow continue to do so.
Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton