Quivira National Wildlife Refuge Impairment Complaint

Current Status:

The KDA Division of Water Resources (DWR) has completed a draft supplement to the 2016 Final Report of the Chief Engineer regarding the impairment of Water Right File No. 7,571. The supplement does not reexamine nor reach a different conclusion than that upstream junior groundwater pumping regularly and significantly impairs the Service’s ability to use its Water Right File No. 7,571. If you have questions or comments regarding the supplement, please email KDA.DWR@ks.gov or send mail to the Chief Engineer, Kansas Department of Agriculture, 1320 Research Park Drive, Manhattan, KS 66502 by September 19, 2023.

Read the supplement here: Draft Supplement

On February 10, 2023 the Chief Engineer of DWR received a request to secure water from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service related to their senior water right for Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Stafford County, Kansas. It was determined in 2016 that upstream junior groundwater pumping in the Rattlesnake Creek basin regularly and significantly impairs the Service's ability to use its water right. In the short term, the Chief Engineer and DWR staff will review the request to determine appropriate and legal actions necessary to respond to the request in a timely manner.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Letter Accompanying Their Request to Secure Water - February 10, 2023

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Request to Secure Water - February 6, 2023 

List of Sections:
Follow the links below to navigate to the corresponding sections on this page.
Development of Impairment Remedy Following 2023 Request to Secure Water
Audubon of Kansas v. Lewis
Administrative Review of Chief Engineer's LEMA Decision
Development of Impairment Remedy
GMD5 Proposed Rattlesnake/Quivira LEMA
Development of Impairment Investigation Report
Statutory Provision and Impairment Procedures
Impairment Investigation Progress and Plan

Status and Background of the Quivira Impairment as of August 2019
Archive of Planned Fall 2019 Administration (Not Implemented)

Development of Impairment Remedy Following 2023 Request to Secure Water


Description

File Size  

Document Date

Provided By

Letter from KDA to Water Right Holders Regarding Proposed Plan to Address Impairment  2 MB  01/25/2024  KDA 
Letter from KDA to Water Right Holders Regarding USFWS Withdrawal of Request for 2024 Administration  117 KB  10/18/2023  KDA 
Letter from USFWS Requesting that KDA-DWR Not Pursue 2024 Administration  136 KB  10/11/2023  USFWS 
Letter from KDA to Potentially Affected Water Right Holders Regarding the Draft Supplement  72 KB  08/21/2023  KDA 
Draft Supplement to 2016 Impairment Report
Supporting materials
126 KB
4 MB
08/11/2023  KDA 
Letter from Stafford County Farm Bureau Association to KDA
2 MB
04/26/2023
Stafford County Farm Bureau Association
Letter from KDA to Potentially Affected Water Right Holders
447 KB
04/10/2023
KDA
Letter from GMD5 to Service
493 KB
03/06/2023
GMD5
Letter Accompanying Request to Secure Water
209 KB  02/10/2023 Service
Request to Secure Water
128 KB
02/06/2023
Service

Audubon of Kansas v. Lewis


Description

File Size  

Document Date

Provided By

Motion for Peremptory Order of Mandamus
Memo in Support of Motion for Peremptory Order
103 KB
2 MB
07/17/2023
AOK
KS Audubon Petition to Shawnee County District Court
11 MB
07/11/2023
AOK
Order Dismissing KS Audubon Petition
29 KB
06/30/2023
KS Supreme Court
KS Audubon Petition to KS Supreme Court
Memo Supporting KS Audubon Petition
KS Audubon Petition Exhibits
2 MB
5MB
53 MB
06/23/2023
AOK

Administrative Review of Chief Engineer's LEMA Decision


Description

 Document File

File Size  

Date Posted

Provided By

Order Denying Petition for Stay and Granting Petition for Review and Notice of Prehearing Conference (08/30/2019)
Secretary's Order on GMD5's Petitions
138 KB  09/03/2019 KDA
GMD5 Petition for Review of Chief Engineer's Rejection of LEMA and Petition for Stay of Proceedings
(08/14/2019)
Letter to Secretary with Petitions  2 MB
09/03/2019
GMD5

Development of Impairment Remedy


Description

 Document File

File Size  

Date Posted

Provided by

Letter from Crane Farms
(09/06/2019)
Letter from Crane Farms  10 MB
09/24/2019
Crane
KDA Reply to Letter from Multiple Agricultural Entities Re: Administrative Orders (revised) Response Letter to Ag Organizations (revised) 1 MB 09/23/2019 KDA
Letter from Golden Belt Feeders to Governor Kelly
Letter from Golden Belt Feeders to Governor Kelly  61 KB
09/03/2019
Kaiser
Letter from Multiple Agricultural Entities Re: Administration Orders Letter to Chief Engineer 205 KB 08/29/2019 Multiple Agricultural Entities
Chief Engineer Response to KS Audubon
Response to KS Audubon 60 KB  08/23/2019 KDA
Resolving the Quivira NWR Impairment, Aug 2019 Resolving the Quivira Impairment, Aug 2019 775 KB 08/2019 KDA
Letter from KS Audubon to KDA Letter from KS Audubon to KDA 93 KB  08/19/2019 KS Audubon
KDHE Initial Water Quality Analysis of Augmentation at Quivira NWR (12/21/2018)
KDHE Initial Water Quality Analysis of Quivira Augmentation
1 MB 01/08/2019 KDHE
Request to Secure Water
(01/01/2019)
Request to Secure Water 946 KB 12/14/2018  Service 
Letter from Service to KS Audubon Re: Impairment Service Letter to KS Audubon 402 KB 10/16/2018  Service 
Letter from Four KS Members of Congress to the Service Letter from Members of Congress to Service 110 KB 08/30/2018  Members of Congress
KDA response to KS Audubon Response to KS Audubon 252 KB 08/27/2018 KDA
Letter from KS Audubon Re: Impairment
KS Audubon Letter
159 KB
08/22/2018   KS Audubon
Request to Secure Water
(01/07/2017)
Request to Secure Water 
368 KB
08/22/2018
Service
Crane Farms Comments (02/25/2018) Crane Farms
Comments

9 MB 03/05/2018 Crane
Rattlesnake Creek Streamflow Response Regions Map, V5 with Cities and Highways
Rattlesnake Creek Response Map with landmarks 3 MB 02/15/2018 KDA
Improved Irrigation/Pumping Relationship
Improved Irrigation/Pumping Relationship (Attachments)
Multiple  01/09/2018 KDA
Rattlesnake Creek Streamflow Response Regions Map, V5
(11/16/2017)
Rattlesnake Creek Response Map
2 MB
02/06/2018
KDA
Follow-Up on Questions from 11/10/2017 Meeting
(11/16/2017)
Follow-Up on 11/10/2017 Meeting
86 KB 01/09/2018  KDA
Modeling Work to Refine Zone A (V4)
(11/09/2017)
Modeling Work to Refine Zone A (version 4)
1 MB 01/09/2018  KDA
2nd Letter of Crane Comments (09/29/2017) Crane Comments 3 MB 10/02/2017 Crane
KDA Response to Letter from KS Audubon (09/29/2017) KDA Response to KS Audubon
196 KB 10/02/2017 KDA
KS Audubon Comment Letter Re: Impairment Negotiations (09/06/2017) KS Audubon Comments
375 KB 09/14/2017 KS Audubon
Crane Comment Letter Re: Impairment Remedy and Mystery River Basin
(08/30/2017)
Crane Comments 4 MB 09/27/2017 Crane
Email Explaining Development of Revised Response Regions Map (08/07/2017) Response Map Revision Notes 
1 MB
08/17/2017 KDA
Rattlesnake Creek Streamflow Response Regions
(Revised 08/04/2017)
Rattlesnake Creek Response Map 
(Superseded 11/16/2017)
3 MB  08/17/2017 KDA
DWR to GMD5, Additional Explanation of Quivira Slides (07/13/2017) Additional Explanation of Quivira Slides
186 KB 01/09/2018 KDA
KDA DWR Presentation on Remedy Requirements Beyond Augmentation (Draft Analysis) (07/06/2017) DWR Presentation
(Jul 2017)
2 MB 08/17/2017 KDA
DWR Modeling Work Re: Effect of Varying Levels of Pumping Restrictions in Two Zones (06/19/2017) Modeling Work (Jun 2017)
135 KB 01/09/2018  KDA
Service response to 2nd GMD5 Proposal
(03/22/2017)
Service Response to 2nd Proposal  660 KB 04/19/2017 Service
2nd GMD5 Proposal (02/15/2017) 2nd GMD 5 Proposal 5 MB 02/17/2017 GMD5
Service Conditions Re: Potentially Acceptable Solutions (12/13/2016) Conditions for Solutions 156 KB 12/19/2016 Service
DWR to GMD5 Re: Service Response to GMD Proposal (12/08/2016) DWR to GMD5 154 KB  12/08/2016 KDA
Service Response to GMD5 Proposal (12/01/2016) Service Response to Proposal 130 KB 12/02/2016 Service
GMD5 Proposal
(09/08/2016)
GMD5 Proposal 2 MB 12/02/2016 GMD5

GMD5 Proposed Rattlesnake/Quivira LEMA


Description

 Document File

File Size  

Date Posted

Provided by

Order Denying Petition for Stay and Granting Petition for Review and Notice of Prehearing Conference (08/30/2019)
Secretary's Order on GMD5 Petitions 138 KB 09/03/2019  KDA
GMD5 Petition for Review of Chief Engineer's Rejection of LEMA and Petition for Stay of Proceedings (08/14/2019)
Letter to Secretary with Petitions 2 MB 09/03/2019  GMD5
DWR Formal Response to 02/22/2019 LEMA Proposal DWR Response to Feb 19 LEMA Proposal 102 KB 07/31/2019  KDA
Barfield Response to 10/29/2018 Letter on LEMA issues (Mystery River/MDS)

Barfield to GMD5

David Traster to Barfield Regarding Mystery River and Prior Appropriation (10/29/2018)
Barfield Response to 10/29/2018 letter


Barfield to GMD5


David Traster to Barfield
165 KB



66 KB


1 MB




06/28/2019


 
KDA and Traster
Barfield Update on Quivira Impairment, KGS Field Conference Update on Quivira Impairment
311 KB 06/10/2019 KDA
DWR Review of GMD5 Feb 19 LEMA Proposal
DWR Review of Feb 19 LEMA Plan
3 MB
05/30/2019
KDA
KDA Informal Review of Comments on GMD5 Feb 19 LEMA Proposal
KDA Informal Review of Comments on Feb 19 LEMA Plan
2 MB
04/04/2019 KDA
Quivira NWR LEMA Request to DWR by GMD5
GMD5 Feb 19 LEMA Proposal 2 MB  02/22/2019  GMD5
KDHE Initial Water Quality Analysis of Augmentation at Quivira NWR (12/21/2018) KDHE Initial Water Quality Analysis of Quivira Augmentation  1 MB
01/08/2019
KDHE
DWR Memo on Sufficiency of GMD5 Augmentation-Only Plan to Resolve Quivira Impairment (01/04/2019)
KDA Memo on Sufficiency of Augmentation-Only Plan 671 KB  01/07/2019 KDA
DWR Evaluation of Impact of End Gun Removal on Water Use in GMD5 under 2010 AWEP
KDA Evaluation of End Gun Removal Impact  208 KB
01/04/2019
KDA
Petition for Judicial Review Dismissed
Petition for Judicial Review Dismissed 
298 KB
01/02/2019
KDA and Traster
KDA Response to LEMA Proposal
KDA Response to LEMA Proposal  58 KB
12/20/2018
KDA
GMD5 LEMA Proposal
GMD5 LEMA Proposal 4 MB
12/13/2018
GMD5
GMD5 LEMA Proposal Transmittal
GMD5 LEMA Proposal Transmittal  1 MB
12/13/2018
GMD5
MoU between Chief Engineer and GMD5 Memorandum of Understanding
91 KB 11/15/2018 KDA and GMD5
Correspondence between KDA and GMD5
Correspondence between KDA and GMD5  669 KB
10/17/2019
KDA
KDA Review of 08/09/2018 Draft GMD5 LEMA Plan
KDA Review of 08/2018 Draft LEMA Plan  200 KB
08/23/2018
KDA
Draft LEMA Proposal, Aug 2018
Draft LEMA Proposal Aug 2018
6 MB
08/13/2018
GMD5
KDA Feedback on Jul 2018 Draft LEMA Plan
KDA Feedback on Jul 2018 Draft LEMA Plan
103 KB
08/06/2018
KDA
Draft LEMA Proposal
Draft LEMA Proposal  3 MB
07/12/2018 GMD5
Correspondence - Secretary McClaskey to GMD5
Letter from Secretary to GMD5  37 KB
05/17/2018
KDA
Correspondence - GMD5 to DWR, Response to 04/26/2018 letter
GMD5 Response to Apr 18 Letter  79 KB
05/15/2018
GMD5
Climate-Based Water Use Estimation
Climate-Based Water Use Estimation  803 KB
05/15/2018
KDA
Correspondence - Secretary McClaskey to GMD5 Board of Directors
Secretary's Letter to GMD5 Board  97 KB
04/26/2018
KDA
Petition for Judicial Review
Petition for Judicial Review
784 KB
04/04/2018
Traster
Letter Re: Opposition to Draft Proposal
Letter Re: Opposition to Draft Proposal  1 MB
03/19/2018
Mulitple
Titus Email to Preheim with Attached Additional Markup as of 03/06/2018
Titus Email to Preheim  8 MB
03/07/2018
KDA
Correspondence - Comments on the proposed Big Bend GMD LEMA Plan (03/01/2018) Comments on Proposed LEMA  143 KB
03/05/2018
Traster
Beightel Email to Feril with Attached Rewrite of Draft LEMA Plan
Beightel Email to Feril with Draft Rewrite  1 MB
03/03/2018
KDA
Presentations on Proposed LEMA at GMD5 Annual Meeting (02/15/2018) Video of Presentations (YouTube)   03/01/2018 Multiple
DWR Presentation on Quivira Impairment Remedy Requirements
(02/15/2018)
Quivira Impairment Remedy Requirements

Video of this presentation (YouTube)
2 MB


02/16/2018 KDA
Draft LEMA Proposal
Draft LEMA Proposal
7 MB 02/14/2018 GMD5
Response to Request for Data on End Guns and Model Runs (01/05/2018)
Response to Data Request

Data Download
24 MB
01/09/2018
GMD5
Request for Data on End Guns and Model Runs (12/17/2017)
End Gun and Modeling Data Request  154 KB
01/09/2018
KDA
KDA Letter to GMD5 Re: 2018 Water Administration, Remedy Expectations, and Call for Public Meeting (12/13/2017) KDA Letter to GMD5  184 KB
01/09/2018
KDA
Correspondence Re: Draft "Backstop" Control Provision Options (10/20/2017)
(Attachments)
Letter on Draft Provision Options

(Attachments)
Multiple 01/09/2018 KDA
Outline of LEMA Plan Elements Needed to Address Impairment
(09/08/2017)
LEMA Plan Elements Outline
132 KB
01/09/2018
KDA
Titus Dmail to Lynn Preheim with Attached: a) Letter and b) Comments on Draft Plan
Titus email to Preheim

Letter to GMD5 Board

Comments on Draft Plan 
25 KB

62 KB


1 MB
12/22/2017
KDA
GMD5 LEMA Proposal Outline
(08/11/2017)
GMD 5 LEMA Proposal Outline 19 KB
08/17/2017
GMD5

Development of Impairment Investigation Report

 

 Description

 Document File

File Size 

Date Posted

Provided by

Final Impairment Investigation Report Final Impairment Report
18.9 MB 07/15/2016 
KDA
Comments from 2nd Draft of Initial Impairment Investigation Report 2nd Draft Comments 53 KB 07/07/2016 Service
Supplemental Responses to Comments from 1st Draft of Initial Impairment Investigation Report Response to Comments on Initial Report 458 KB 06/10/2016 KDA
2nd Draft of Initial Impairment Investigation Report
Second Draft Initial Report

Second Draft Initial Report with Markup Showing Changes
12MB



3 MB
05/29/2016 KDA
Comments from 1st Draft of Initial Impairment Investigation Report 1st Draft Comments 8 MB 05/17/2016
Multiple
DWR Reply to Request to Extend Comment Period on Initial Impairment Investigation Report Comment Period Extension Letter 178 KB 04/08/2016 KDA
Supplementary Information on Quivira Water Management Quivira Water Management 3 MB 03/08/2016 Service
Service's Responses to Impairment Solution Questions Raised at 01/27/2016 Meeting Service's Impairment Solution Responses  579 KB 03/07/2016  Service
DWR Quivira File DWR Quivira Water Right No. 7571 File 99 MB 01/15/2016 KDA
Initial Impairment PowerPoint Quivira NWR Initial Impairment PowerPoint Presentation 2 MB 12/14/2015 KDA

Initial Impairment Report

Quivira NWR Initial Impairment Investigation Report 
(Corrected Figure 4 and Attachment 3)

17 MB 

12/02/2015 

KDA

Modeling Presentation

Quivira Impairment Investigation Modeling Presentation

3 MB

12/02/2015 KDA

PD Map

Points of Diversion in the Rattlesnake Creek Basin

632 KB

06/25/2014

KDA

Statutory Provision and Impairment Procedures

K.S.A. 82a-706b of the Kansas Water Appropriation Act (Act) states: “It shall be unlawful for any person to prevent, by diversion or otherwise, any waters of this state from moving to a person having a prior right to use the same…”  The Act charges the Chief Engineer with the duty to regulate use to prevent such “impairment” of senior water rights by junior water rights.

Regulations adopted pursuant to the Act provide for a five-step process for impairment investigations and actions: 1) a complaint is submitted in writing, 2) DWR investigates the complaint, 3) DWR reports on the findings of their investigation, 4) if impairment is found and action desired, the complainant files a request to secure water, and 5) action by the Chief Engineer lasts as long as is required to aid the senior file in securing a larger portion of its water right.

Impairment investigations and actions in surface water systems are fairly straightforward. Impairment investigations involving groundwater are more complex and time-consuming. In 2012, the relevant regulations were amended to provide more specific procedures for groundwater impairment investigations, including increased opportunities for groundwater management districts to comment on and assist with impairment investigations, requirements for complainants to provide information showing that their pump system and well are adequate, and increased transparency by DWR in making data available and providing affected water users with opportunity to comment.


Impairment Investigation Progress and Plan

Since receiving the Letter from the Service, DWR has done the following.
  • DWR met with the GMD5 Board and reported at GMD5’s 2013 Annual Meeting regarding the Service's request and how the investigation would proceed.
  • DWR met with the Service to confirm their intent for DWR to conduct an impairment investigation and to outline requirements for information DWR would need from the Service to begin its investigation.
  • DWR received additional information requested from the Service to define their specific needs.   
  • DWR used the GMD5 groundwater model to determine the magnitude and timing of the effect of junior groundwater pumping on the Rattlesnake Creek at Quivira NWR.
  • On November 4, 2014, DWR presented groundwater modeling results for nine alternative historical scenarios at a public meeting in St. John.  A summary PowerPoint is available in the "Development of Impairment Investigation Report" table above.
  • On December 2, 2015, DWR published its initial impairment investigation report for review and comment.
  • On December 10, 2015, DWR  held a public meeting in St. John to present a summary of the initial report’s findings, answer questions, and seek input.
  • On January 15, 2016, DWR published entire Quivira NWR water right file in the table "Development of Impairment Investigation Report" above.
  • On May 13, 2016, the review period for the initial impairment investigation report ended.
  • On May 30, 2016, DWR published a second draft of the initial impairment investigation report, which can be found in the "Development of Impairment Investigation Report" table above.
  • On July 1, 2016, the review period for second draft of the initial impairment investigation report began.
  • On July 15, 2016, DWR published a final impairment investigation report, which can be found in the "Development of Impairment Investigation Report" table above.
  • On August 15, 2016, a basin-wide plan to implement an impairment remedy was submitted to the Chief Engineer.
  • On September 9, 2016, GMD5 submitted a remedy proposal to the Service.
  • On December 1, 2016, the Service responded to the GMD5 proposal.
  • On December 8, 2016, DWR requested that GMD5 develop a revised proposal and advised the basin that DWR did not plan to administer junior water rights during the 2017 irrigation season, but if an agreement was not reached, DWR might administer in 2018.
  • On February 15, 2017, GMD5 submitted a revised proposal to the Service.
  • On March 22, 2017, the Service responded to the revised proposal.
  • On May 2, 2017, DWR and GMD5 discussed remedy development.
  • On June 19, 2017, DWR provided copies of modeling work related to the effect of varying levels of pumping restrictions in two zones.
  • On July 6, 2017, DWR presented remedy requirements beyond augmentation.
  • On July 13, 2017, DWR provided "additional explanation of Quivira slides."
  • On August 7, 2017, DWR provided a refined Zone A map (V3; V2 was an intermediate version which was never presented).
  • On August 11, 2017, DWR met with GMD5. GMD5 presented an outline of a proposed LEMA to remedy impairment.
  • On August 30, 2017, DWR received a letter from Alan and Rachel Crane.
  • On September 6, 2017, DWR received letter from Audubon of Kansas.
  • On September 8, 2017, DWR met with GMD5 and provided an outline of LEMA plan elements needed to address impairment.
  • On September 29, 2017, DWR responded to the letter from Audubon of Kansas.
  • On October 18, 2017, DWR requested data from GMD5 on end guns and model runs related to augmentation.
  • On October 20, 2017, DWR provided draft options for "backstop" control provisions.
  • On October 30, 2017, KDA met with the GMD5 manager and attorney to discuss LEMA development.
  • On November 9, 2017, DWR provided refined modeling to define Zone A (V4).
  • On November 10, 2017, DWR participated in a GMD5 Board meeting.
  • On November 16, 2017, DWR followed up on questions from the 11/10/2017 meeting.
  • On November 17, 2017, DWR met with the GMD5 LEMA committee.
  • On December 13, 2017, DWR wrote to GMD5 regarding 2018 water administration and expectations for developing a remedy for impairment and calling for a public meeting in early 2018.