City of Hays / R9 Ranch Water Right Changes and Water Transfer Application

The City of Hays purchased the approximately 7,000-acre R9 Ranch and its thirty water rights in southwestern Edwards County in 1995 with the intention of someday using the water as part of the City's water supply.

During June 2015, the City submitted applications to KDA-DWR to change the use made of water from irrigation to municipal use for the R9 Ranch water rights. As these proposed changes envision moving greater than 2,000 acre-feet more than 35 miles, during January 2016, the cities of Hays and Russell submitted an application to transfer water from Edwards County to the cities of Hays and Russell pursuant to the Water Transfer Act (K.S.A. 82a-1501, et seq.).

The water right change applications, the water transfer application, and other information are available in the table below.  KDA-DWR will update this page as new information becomes available.
As of April 5, 2016, there is no set timeline to complete the processing of the water right change applications or to hold the water transfer hearing. As those dates are set, this page and the timeline below will be updated accordingly. 

In response to a request by a basin stakeholder, the chief engineer has agreed to hold a meeting in the basin prior to his action to contingently approve the change applications. No date has been set for this meeting as KDA-DWR is still working with the City of Hays to clarify its applications (see the correspondence included in the table below).

The water transfer proceeding will not be initiated until the change applications are contingently approved.

Support Files Table

Description Document File File Size Date Posted Provided by
Notice of posting modeling report and modeling files R9 Notice of Posting Modeling Report 40 KB   02/19/2018 DWR
R9 Ranch Groundwater Modeling Report
R9 Ranch Modeling Report
3.4 MB  02/16/2018 City of Hays
Full Water Transfer Application including its Change Applications
(Large file, slow loading time)
Water Transfer Application with Exhibits  387
 04/14/2016  City of Hays
Water Transfer Application without Exhibits  Water Transfer Application without Exhibits 1.4
 04/14/2016 City of Hays
Exhibit List from Water Transfer Application  Exhibit List 1.3
 04/14/2016 City of Hays
Exhibit 1, R9 Ranch Water Right File and Circle Numbers from Transfer Application Ex. 1 R9 Ranch Water Right File and Circle Numbers 2.4
 04/14/2016 City of Hays
Exhibit 2, Change Application Cover Letter from Transfer Application Ex. 2 Change Application Cover Letter  43
 04/14/2016 City of Hays
Exhibit 3-32, Change Applications
(Large file, slow loading time)
Ex. 3-32 Change Applications 165
 04/14/2016 City of Hays
Exhibit 41-41.4 and 57, Conceptual Design Documents Ex. 41-41.4, 57 and Design Documents  20 MB   04/14/2016 City of Hays
Transfer Application Receipt 01/19/2016 DWR Hays Russell Transfer Receipt 338 KB   04/08/2016 DWR 
KDA-DWR letter with comments from its initial review of the change applications 01/21/2106 DWR Initial Review Letter  894 KB  04/08/2016 DWR
KDA-DWR letter with additional comments on review of the change applications 03/08/2016 DWR Meeting Preparation 446 KB   04/08/2016 DWR
Meeting Follow-up Letter 04/06/2016 DWR Additional Comments 2
 04/08/2016 DWR
Recharge Information, Hansen Report USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4230   17 KB  04/08/2016 USGS
GMD #5 Groundwater Model Report Hydrologic Model of Big Bend GMD No. 5  13 KB  04/08/2016 Balleau Groundwater, INC.
R9 Ranch area wells Local well ID lookup table
KGS WIZARD website 
NA  04/08/2016 KGS


1995                R9 Ranch and water rights purchased by the City of Hays

2015-06-26      City of Hays applies to change R9 Ranch water rights from irrigation to municipal use

2016-01-06      Cities of Hays and Russell apply to transfer water from R9 Ranch to Hays and Russell

2016-01-19      KDA-DWR letter to Hays acknowledging receipt of the Hays and Russell Transfer request

2016-01-21      KDA-DWR letter to Hays with comments from its review of Hays' change applications

2016-03-08      KDA-DWR letter to Hays with additional comments from its review of the change applications
2016-03-24      Cities of Hays and Russell meet with KDA-DWR to discuss details of the water right
                         change applications

2016-04-06       KDA-DWR letter to Hays summarizing 3/24/2016 meeting and next steps 

Next steps

  • City of Hays responses to requests of April 5, 2016 letter including detailed justification of future needs, modeling
  • Potential modification of the change applications by the City of Hays
  • Hearing or public meeting on the proposed changes applications
  • Contingent approval of the change application
  • Water Transfer Process initiated. See attached document for more details on the process and timelines

Hays / R9 Update List

Please enter your contact information to be notified when new information is added to the City of Hays / R9 Ranch Water Right Changes and Water Transfer Application page.