Kansas Groundwater Management Districts once argued that they, not the Chief Engineer, had primary authority to regulate water withdrawals in their respective districts. Some may believe that today. The following should clarify the matter.
BOGUE, Kan. - It is true that an appropriation permit may be sold, but the Chief Engineer at the Division of Water Resources (often called the Czar) is not legally obligated to approve the original amount appropriated.
I assume Kansas Administrative Regulation 5-3-9 approved in 1994 (which has the full force and effect of law) is still in force. In pertinent part it says that "unless otherwise provided by regulation, it shall be considered in the public interest that only the safe yield of any source or water supply ... shall be appropriated.
Authorization of the regulation can also be found in KSA 82a-706a -- which dates to 1957! In other words, as I have written before in a statement to the gathered Kansas Water Authority in July of 2000, the Chief Engineer has had the responsibility to enforce safe-yield in the public interest but has never really lived up to his responsibility by declaring intensive groundwater use areas (IGUCA) and reducing water use.