Ross_Irrigation
75th Anniversary
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

STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19

Due to the state’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the staff at the Kansas Department of Agriculture has been asked to work remotely beginning April 6. During this time, our headquarters and field offices will remain closed to the public. Please keep in mind that while we work from our homes, our response times may be a bit slower. We ask for your patience as we work through these changing times.

The KDA coronavirus page has guidance documents and ag-related industry links. For more information about the State of Kansas response to COVID-19, please consult the KDHE Resource Center.

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.

COMMON SEARCHES


  • 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

Kansas Chief Engineer to Retire in March 2020

The Kansas Department of Agriculture announces that Chief Engineer David Barfield will be retiring from his position at the Division of Water Resources effective March 6, 2020. Barfield has been with KDA–DWR for 35 years, and has served as chief engineer since June 2007 where he has led KDA–DWR in its efforts to serve water users in the state within the framework of Kansas law including administration of more than 30,000 active water rights, four interstate water compacts, and the state’s program regulating dams and other water structures.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture announces that Chief Engineer David Barfield will be retiring from his position at the Division of Water Resources effective March 6, 2020. Barfield has been with KDA–DWR for 35 years, and has served as chief engineer since June 2007 where he has led KDA–DWR in its efforts to serve water users in the state within the framework of Kansas law including administration of more than 30,000 active water rights, four interstate water compacts, and the state’s program regulating dams and other water structures.

Barfield led Kansas through decades of effort on interstate issues, including two U.S. Supreme Court litigations and years of negotiations, to reach agreements with Nebraska and Colorado to ensure Kansas received its share of waters of the Republican River. Similarly, he has led negotiations of numerous implementation agreements related to Kansas’ compact with Colorado on the Arkansas River and in reaching a water right settlement agreement with the Kickapoo Tribe to help the tribe develop a secure water supply for its needs.

With regard to the ongoing declines in the Ogallala Aquifer, Barfield was involved in the development and implementation of several legislative initiatives to provide new tools to facilitate water conservation including Local Enhanced Management Areas (LEMAs) and Water Conservation Areas (WCAs). Two LEMAs have been approved in Kansas, and 27 approved WCA plans covering over 86,000 acres focus on several problem areas.

“I have particularly enjoyed the opportunity to serve the state of Kansas as chief engineer for the last 12 years, and I’m proud of the work we have done during that time,” said Barfield. “In addition to progress in interstate matters and the Ogallala, we have seen progress in developing technical methods to evaluate new applications and water right changes, and to monitor water use. I’m also pleased with the continued commitment to customer service and expanded public information.”

“I’m thankful for David Barfield’s exemplary service to Kansans,” said Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam. “He’s fulfilled this important role with dedication, integrity and transparency while always being open to input from stakeholders. He leaves the Division of Water Resources with a firm foundation for the future of Kansas water.

By state law, the chief engineer is employed under the classified service of the Kansas civil service act and selected and hired by the Secretary of Agriculture. Beam noted the search process for the next chief engineer will begin immediately.

To learn more about the work done by the chief engineer and KDA–DWR, go to www.agriculture.ks.gov/DWR or call 785-564-6640.

Biographical Details

David Barfield graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering in 1978. Following graduation, he worked for three years in consulting in Minnesota and three years in a developing nation of southern Africa as a water resources engineer. In 1984, he returned to Kansas and joined the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Water Resources. Barfield earned a Master of Science in water resources engineering in 1991, also from the University of Kansas.

At the Division of Water Resources, from 1984 to 1987, Barfield performed special studies to guide water management decisions; from 1987 to 1992, served as head of the Dam Safety Unit; and from 1992 to 2007 led technical efforts related to Kansas’ interstate water issues, primarily working on disputes regarding the Republican River, the Arkansas River with Colorado, and the Missouri River.

Barfield has served as chief engineer since June 2007 (only the fifth chief engineer in the Division’s 85-year history). 

Barfield lives outside Lawrence with his wife of 40 years, Cathy. They have three grown, married daughters and five grandsons. Following his retirement, he plans to work part-time in water resources consulting.


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