Representatives of the three states have signed a resolution which approves adjustments to the Republican River Compact. Representatives tout the changes as beneficial to all three states and say they set a course toward long-term solutions to persistent problems.
The Chairman of the Republican River Compact Administration, Brian Dunnigan, Nebraska Director of the Department of Natural Resources, noted U.S. Supreme Court Special Master William Kayatta encouraged the states to work toward greater consensus for administering the waters of the Basin.
“It is in that spirit that the states have negotiated the resolution that was approved today,” Dunnigan said in a written statement released by the administration.
The signed agreement makes adjustments in how water from the Republican River is distributed for irrigation. Nebraska will receive a 100% credit for water delivered from augmentation projects to Harlan County Lake prior to June 1, 2015, and the delivered water is for exclusive use by Kansas irrigators.
This is the third agreement reached among the states. Two others were signed in October.
One of those agreements will ensure the Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District in north central Kansas has enough water for next year’s crops. The other agreement works to insure Colorado and Kansas works together to improve the water available to Kansas farmers from the South Fork Republican River. Colorado will receive create for augmenting the North Fork Republican River.
The agreement comes even as the United States Supreme Court considers a legal dispute between Nebraska and Kansas over the use of the Republican River.