75th Anniversary
2020 marked 75 years of the Kansas Water Appropriations Act
"First in time, first in right"
Read more about the KWAA:
KWAA at 50
Read more about Kansas water law:
Kansas Water Law by KSRE

The Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources field offices are now making themselves available to the public by appointment during regular business hours.

KDA field offices serve water users statewide. Each office is managed by a water commissioner, who is the chief engineer's agent, and each is staffed with employees familiar with local water issues.

If you need to speak with someone in person, please contact the appropriate field office to schedule an appointment. All staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings in public areas of KDA buildings, except where social distancing can be maintained.

Topeka/Parsons     785-296-5733
Stafford   620-234-5311
Stockton   785-425-6787
Garden City   620-276-2901, or


KDA offices are open to the public, with the following practices in place to protect the health of staff and visitors. 

  • All staff and visitors are required to wear face coverings in public areas of the building.
  • Social distancing should be maintained while in the building.
  • Many meetings continue to be held as online meetings or conference calls.

Division of Water Resources

The Division of Water Resources administers 30 laws and responsibilities including the Kansas Water Appropriation Act which governs how water is allocated and used; statutes regulating the construction of dams, levees and other changes to streams; the state's four interstate river compacts; as well as coordinating the national flood insurance program in Kansas.


  • Paper Filing Fee / Online support options: Information about the $20 per water right paper filing fee that will be applied to 2018 water use reporting.
  • Updates: Get the latest news and updates on the work of the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources.
  • Quivira: Information about the investigation of the impairment complaint filed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on behalf of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. 
  • Hays R9: Information about the City of Hays' applications to KDA-DWR for water right changes and water transfer of the R9 Ranch.
  • Water Conservation Area (WCA): Information about WCAs and active or pending WCA plans. 
  • Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA): Information about LEMAs including the GMD No. 4 District-wide LEMA, the Sheridan County 6 LEMA and the proposed GMD No. 5 Rattlesnake/Quivira LEMA.
  • Wichita ASR: Information about the City's request for changes to the conditions associated with the Phase II Aquifer Storage and Recovery Project.
  • Kickapoo Water Right: Information on the Kickapoo Indian Reservation Water Right Settlement Agreement.
  • Republican River CompactInformation on the latest resolutions and annual meetings between Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska on this compact.
  • Multi-Year Flex Accounts (MYFAs)
  • DWR Approved Meter List: Current list of approved water flowmeters, forms and instructions.
  • Minimum Desirable Streamflow (MDS): Streams subject to and currently under MDS administration.
Division of Water Resources in the News

KDA Publishes Initial Report on Water Impairment Claim

The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) Division of Water Resources (DWR) is one step closer to finalizing a water right impairment claim made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for its water right for the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge).

Initial report indicates junior groundwater pumping impaired the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from exercising its senior water right for the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge


MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) Division of Water Resources (DWR) is one step closer to finalizing a water right impairment claim made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) for its Water Right File No. 7,571 for the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge). The Service’s water right is senior in priority to approximately 95 percent of the water rights in the Rattlesnake Creek Basin. The initial report on the impairment claim was published online on Dec. 2, 2015, and will be open for public comment for 60 days. The report is available here.

KDA will also hold a public meeting to present a summary of the report’s findings, answer questions, and seek input on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 at 4:00 p.m. in St. John, Kansas. The meeting will be at the Stafford County K-State Research and Extension office located at 210 E. Third Avenue.

After years of alleging that junior groundwater appropriators upstream of the Refuge were depleting the streamflow in Rattlesnake Creek, and working with the Big Bend Groundwater Management District #5 (GMD 5), KDA DWR and a group of local water users to address these concerns, the Service filed an impairment complaint with KDA DWR in April 2013. After receiving the complaint, KDA DWR began a lengthy and extensive investigation using the hydrological model of the district (GMD 5 Model), which includes the Rattlesnake Creek Basin and the Refuge.

The initial report finds the Refuge’s water supply “has been regularly and substantially impacted by junior groundwater pumping.” According to the initial report, over the 34 years reviewed, shortages of greater than 3,000 acre-feet occurred in 18 years, particularly during periods of limited water supply.

“Publishing the initial report is an important step in this process, but there is still significant work to be completed,” said Chief Engineer David Barfield. “KDA hopes that the Service, GMD 5, and basin stakeholders will use this report to explore options to resolve this longstanding concern. We are committed to working with all stakeholders once the report is finalized to address the impairment.”

After the 60-day comment period closes, KDA DWR will evaluate the comments and work to finalize the report. For more information, visit

DWR Index

Questions about the Division of Water Resources 

Looking for answers to frequently asked questions? Check out our FAQ page.