Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Small Use Applications in GMD 4

Up until 2006 new groundwater rights for small, non-domestic uses in closed or over-appropriated areas were exempt in all of Kansas.  The amounts varied, in some places applications for 25 AF or less were exempt, and in other places the limit may have been 15 AF, but you could always count on a small use application getting approved under the combination of state and/or local rules.

GMD 4 was the first entity in Kansas to eliminate this practice.  Today, the only way to get a new, small use groundwater right of 15 AF or less in GMD 4 is by having the water you are applying for (plus the consumptive use conversion quantity) dismissed by some other water right owner within 2 miles of your proposed well.  No other location in the state has such a regulation requiring such an offset.  The board's thinking in requesting this new regulation was that "closed" meant "closed".  The regulation is KAR 5-24-10 and only applies to GMD 4.

In addition, the new water right is actually a new water right.  It becomes a brand new priority and must be certified again through actual use rather than retaining the original priority of the water use. When looked at in its entirety, this new regulation is a fairly significant change.  

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