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High Court Hears KS Republican River Case

Rep-river-sizedImage courtesy of Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District No. 4

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorneys for Kansas and Nebraska are scheduled to make their cases before the U.S. Supreme Court next week in a longstanding dispute over water use in the Republican River. A special master appointed by the Supreme Court concluded last year that Nebraska owes Kansas a combined $5.5 million for overusing water in 2005 and 2006. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that William Kayatta Jr., the special master, rejected Kansas's demands for $80 million and an order that would permanently shut off irrigation pumps that service about 300,000 acres in Nebraska. At the heart of the dispute is a 1943 compact that has long divided the use of Republican River water among Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. Kansas farmers and officials contend that Nebraska took more than its share in 2005 and 2006.

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