Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas Reach Landmark Water Agreement

Since 1942 the Republican River, which runs through Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas, has been the subject of lawsuits and long-term disagreements between the three states. Back in 1942, the states signed a compact which divided 49% of the river’s water to Nebraska, 40% to Kansas and 11% to Colorado. Disputes over the amount of water used by irrigators and arbitration in each state has lead to numerous court cases and tension between the three states. Recently however, what’s being called a landmark agreement has been reached.

For years, concerned parties have urged the states to come to the table and negotiate sensible agreements based on the actual needs of water users and to make the most efficient use of limited water supplies in the Republican River Basin. Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska have just announced that they have reached a new agreement. State leaders signed resolutions following monthly negotiations that stretched over the past two years. The resolutions are intended to provide greater flexibility and certainty for all water users in the region. Jasper Fanning, general manager of the Upper Republican NRD in Imperial, Nebraska said, “Representatives from Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado should be lauded for doing exactly that in reaching these agreements. Combined with streamflow augmentation projects the NRDs have implemented, this agreement creates a new era of interstate water management in the Republican River Basin where Compact compliance is assured and achieved in a common sense manner.”

Surface and groundwater supplies associated with the Republican River Basin provide irrigation for hundreds of thousands of acres of cropland in the region. Industry and communities in all three states also have a deep and vested interest in the results of this agreement.

At PeopleService we understand that each community is an individual entity with specific needs. We know that keeping up-to-date and informed about every aspect and issue that relates to water is of paramount importance to our clients and their communities. Understanding the complexities of this new pact and the effects it could have on the communities who trust us to manage their water and wastewater is key to providing our clients with the best advice, service and direction. Knowledge is power and the knowledge we gather is how we empower our clients to succeed.