Front Page » Table of Contents » Archive: State: December 2011



This article is a continuation and the third in a series of three. To read Part 1, click here, and Part II, click here.

BOGUE, Kan. - I had hoped the opinion we sought from Stovall would also deal with the problem of irrigation lobby dominance of water politics. I sought a one-person, one vote representational scheme but unfortunately the Kansas State Attorney General disagreed. "The definition of an eligible voter found in K.S.A. 82a-1021 does not violate the one man, one vote rule of the United States Constitution." Unfortunately, only a tiny fraction of the people living in the area directly affected by GMD policies, the thousands who have stake in the future and an opinion about what should be done and when, have any vote in GMD decisions. That ought to change.

As to takings, the AG essentially ducked the question: "Whether a reduction of a water right constitutes a compensable taking depends upon the purpose for which the reduction is made. Without consideration of the purpose for which the reduction is made, no balancing test can be applied to determine whether the taking is compensable."

In other words, a critical issue -- whether private disputes over water appropriation rights takes precedence over the Chief Engineer acting in the broader long term stewardship of the resource -- was not, and hasn't been, addressed, either by the Attorney General or by the courts. It must.

ogallala-acuifer.gifWICHITA, Kan. - At the height of the 2011 Kansas drought that lasted through spring, summer, and into the fall, Gov. Sam Brownback called a summit of "stakeholders," for a discussion on the future of the Ogallala Aquifer.

The Governor's Summit

The four hundred attendees who gathered in Colby, Kansas, included, among others, representatives from the Kansas Geological Survey, Kansas State University, Kansas Ag bankers, and the Kansas Farm Bureau, as well as Carolyn Armstrong, Colby City Manager and Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, representing the League of Kansas Municipalities.

A hydro-geologist from the Kansas Geological Survey, Dr. Geoffrey Bohling, said of the meeting, "A common statement at the summit was, 'I don't like big government [or government regulation], but we need to regulate use of the aquifer.' This was coming from the stakeholders: irrigators (farmers and ranchers) and people responsible for municipal water supplies. Attached to that was the idea that people would prefer more of a grassroots approach to regulation -- for example, all irrigators in an area cutting back their use by a certain percentage voluntarily."

We have more! This page only lists entries in a particular month. We encourage you to look back through our archives in this same category.

The previous archive is State: November 2011. The next archive is State: January 2012.

If you want to browse other topics, you can also check our Table of Contents. The most current posts can always be found on our Front Page.


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This is an archive page containing all of the stories posted to Kansas Free Press in one particular topic in a particular month. These stories were published in the State: December 2011 section.

The previous archive is State: November 2011. The next archive is State: January 2012.

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