KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — There appears to be enough water in Nebraska's stretch of the Republican River to satisfy the terms of a water-sharing agreement with Kansas next year.
Todd Siel with the Lower Republican Natural Resources District said he expects the state will be able to meet the terms of the Republican River compact next year without putting additional restrictions on irrigation or pumping additional water into the basin.
Siel told the Kearney Hub that Harlan County Lake is still mostly full thanks to the extremely wet weather of 2019, and that is a major factor in helping Nebraska comply with the river pact next year.
The Republican River Compact allocates the waters of the basins between the states of Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.
Nebraska, Kansas and Colorado have fought for decades over water entitlements provided under the compact. The compact has resulted in lawsuits among the states, which regulate access to the water.
The compact signed in 1943 gives Nebraska the rights to 49 percent of the river’s water, while Kansas receives 40 percent and Colorado gets 11 percent. The Republican River originates in Colorado, crosses the northwestern tip of Kansas into Nebraska, then runs through Nebraska before re-entering Kansas through its northeastern corner.
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