MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNW) – The Kansas Department of Agriculture will not issue any orders regarding water use in Dist. 5 for 2020 growing season according to a notification released today.
Three counties impacted were Pratt, Stafford and Kiowa. The notification provides certainty for farmers and ranchers in the Rattlesnake Creek Basin.
Public meetings on the issue were held in St. John on Monday. At that time, the official position and timetable of the Fish and Wildlife Service related to the impairment of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge was uncertain.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will not make a request for water to the State of Kansas for Quivira National Wildlife Refuge in Fiscal Year 2020. Throughout the year, the Service will continue to work to find local, voluntary, collaborative and non-regulatory solutions, including augmentation, to address the water needs of the community and the wildlife conservation purposes of the refuge before determining if more formal measures are necessary to ensure the refuge’s water rights are secured. We look forward to working with the Kansas Department of Agriculture, the Kansas congressional delegation, and all water users to develop concrete milestones and lasting solutions,” the notification said.
For extensive information on the Quivira impairment and all actions and public information surrounding the issue, click here.