Augmentation pumping may not be needed this year
Based on projections by the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources (DNR), pumping on Rock Creek and Lincoln County augmentation projects may not be needed in 2018.
If pumping is needed, it won’t occur until after Oct. 1.
This is all thanks to a three-state agreement signed in August 2016 between Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado.
One of the key elements of the agreement focuses on delivering water to Kansas only when they need it and to request that water they are entitled to under the compact from the NRDs be delivered in future years, if it’s needed at all.
At a three-state Sept. 28, 2017 meeting, Kansas representatives said they would not request any additional water to be delivered prior to June 1 even though Nebraska projects a shortfall in 2018.
In previous years, Nebraska and the NRDs would have to make up the shortfall regardless of whether Kansas needed the water at that time or not.
If dry conditions occur this summer, Kansas could request additional water be delivered, but only after Oct. 1.
Republican Basin natural resources districts could then begin pumping on augmentation projects to deliver the requested amount.
They would have until June 1, 2019 to meet that request.
In 2017, Kansas had sufficient water supplies and asked Nebraska not to pump 9,300 acre feet the state was entitled to receive.
Instead, Kansas can ask for that water in future years if it is needed, provided they have not requested the 9,300 acre feet be delivered now or before Oct. 1.