Arkansas River Compact

KANSAS
Statute #
82a-520
Chapter 82a.--WATERS AND WATERCOURSES
Article 5.--INTERSTATE COMPACTS AND AGREEMENTS
Arkansas river compact.

The legislature hereby ratifies the
compact, designated as the "Arkansas river
compact," between the states of Colorado and
Kansas signed in the city of Denver, state of
Colorado on the fourteenth day of December, .A.D.
1948, by Henry C. Vidal, Gail L. Ireland and
Harry B. Mendenhall as commissioners for the
state of Colorado, George S. Knapp, Edward F.
Arn, William E. Leavitt and Roland H. Tate as
commissioners for the state of Kansas, and by
Hans Kramer as the representative of the United
States of America, which compact is as follows:
ARKANSAS RIVER COMPACT

The State of Colorado and the State of
Kansas, parties signatory to this Compact
(hereinafter referred to as "Colorado" and
"Kansas," respectively, or individually as a
"state," or collectively as the "states") having
resolved to conclude a compact with respect to
the waters of the Arkansas river, and being moved
by considerations of interstate comity, having
appointed commissioners as follows:

Henry C. Vidal, Gail L. Ireland, and Harry

B. Mendenhall, for Colorado; and

George S. Knapp, Edward F. Arn, William E.
Leavitt, and Roland H. Tate, for Kansas; and the
consent of the Congress of the United States to
negotiate and enter into an interstate compact
not later than January 1, 1950, having been
granted by Public Law 34, 79th Congress, 1st
Session, and pursuant thereto the President
having designated Hans Kramer as the
representative of the United States, the said
commissioners for Colorado and Kansas, after
negotiations participated in by the
representative of the United States, have agreed
as follows: Article I

The major purposes of this Compact are to:

A. Settle existing disputes and remove
causes of future controversy between the states
of Colorado and Kansas, and between citizens of
one and citizens of the other state, concerning
the waters of the Arkansas river and their
control, conservation and utilization for
irrigation and other beneficial purposes.

B. Equitably divide and apportion between
the states of Colorado and Kansas the waters of
the Arkansas river and their utilization as well
as the benefits arising from the construction,
operation and maintenance by the United States of
John Martin Reservoir Project for water
conservation purposes. Article II

The provisions of this Compact are based on
(1) the physical and other conditions peculiar to
the Arkansas river and its natural drainage
basin, and the nature and location of irrigation
and other developments and facilities in
connection therewith; (2) the opinion of the
United States Supreme Court entered December 6,
1943, in the case of Colorado v. Kansas (320 U.S.
383) concerning the relative rights of the
respective states in and to the use of waters of
the Arkansas river; and (3) the experience
derived under various interim executive
agreements between the two states apportioning
the waters released from the John Martin
Reservoir as operated by the Corps of Engineers.
Article III

As used in this Compact:

A. The word "state line" means the
geographical boundary line between Colorado and
Kansas.

B. The term "waters of the Arkansas river"
means the waters originating in the natural
drainage basin of the Arkansas river, including
its tributaries, upstream from the state line,
and excluding waters brought into the Arkansas
river basin from other river basins.

C. The term "state-line flow" means the
flow of waters of the Arkansas river as
determined by gaging stations located at or near
the state line. The flow as determined by such
stations, whether located in Colorado or Kansas,
shall be deemed to be the actual state-line flow.

D. "John Martin Reservoir Project" is the
official name of the facility formerly known as
Caddoa Reservoir Project, authorized by the Flood
Control Act of 1936, as amended, for
construction, operation and maintenance by the
War Department, Corps of Engineers, later
designated as the Corps of Engineers, Department
of the Army, and herein referred to as the "Corps
of Engineers." "John Martin Reservoir" is the
water storage space created by "John Martin Dam."

E. The "flood control storage" is that
portion of the total storage space in John Martin
Reservoir allocated to flood control purposes.

F. The "conservation pool" is that portion
of the total storage space in John Martin
Reservoir lying below the flood control storage.

G. The "ditches of Colorado Water District
67" are those ditches and canals which divert
water from the Arkansas river or its tributaries
downstream from John Martin Dam for irrigation
use in Colorado.

H. The term "river flow" means the sum of
the flows of the Arkansas and the Purgatoire into
John Martin Reservoir as determined by gaging
stations appropriately located above said
Reservoir.

I. The term "the Administration" means the
Arkansas River Compact Administration established
under Article VIII. Article IV

Both states recognize that:

A. This Compact deals only with the waters
of the Arkansas river as defined in Article III.

B. This Compact is not concerned with the
rights, if any, of the state of New Mexico or its
citizens in and to the use in New Mexico of
waters of Trinchera creek or other tributaries of
the Purgatoire river, a tributary of the Arkansas
river.

C. (1) John Martin Dam will be operated by
the Corps of Engineers to store and release the
waters of the Arkansas river in and from John
Martin Reservoir for its authorized purposes.

(2) The bottom of the flood control storage
is presently fixed by the Chief of Engineers,
U.S. Army, at elevation 3,851 feet above mean sea
level. The flood control storage will be operated
for flood control purposes and to those ends will
impound or regulate the streamflow volumes that
are in excess of the then available storage
capacity of the conservation pool. Releases from
the flood control storage may be made at times
and rates determined by the Corps of Engineers to
be necessary or advisable without regard to ditch
diversion capacities or requirements in either or
both states.

(3) The conservation pool will be operated
for the benefit of water users in Colorado and
Kansas, both upstream and downstream from John
Martin Dam, as provided in this Compact. The
maintenance of John Martin Dam and appurtenant
works may at times require the Corps of Engineers
to release waters then impounded in the
conservation pool or to prohibit the storage of
water therein until such maintenance work is
completed. Flood control operation may also
involve temporary utilization of conservation
storage.

D. This Compact is not intended to impede
or prevent future beneficial development of the
Arkansas river basin in Colorado and Kansas by
federal or state agencies, by private enterprise,
or by combinations thereof, which may involve
construction of dams, reservoirs and other works
for the purposes of water utilization and
control, as well as the improved or prolonged
functioning of existing works: Provided, That the
waters of the Arkansas river, as defined in
Article III, shall not be materially depleted in
usable quantity or availability for use to the
water users in Colorado and Kansas under this
Compact by such future developments or
construction. Article V

Colorado and Kansas hereby agree upon the
following basis of apportionment of the waters of
the Arkansas river:

A. Winter storage in John Martin Reservoir
shall commence on November 1st of each year and
continue to and include the next succeeding March
31st. During said period all water entering said
reservoir up to the limit of the then available
conservation capacity shall be stored: Provided,
That Colorado may demand releases of water
equivalent to the river flow, but such releases
shall not exceed 100 c.f.s. (cubic feet per
second) and water so released shall be used
without avoidable waste.

B. Summer storage in John Martin Reservoir
shall commence on April 1st of each year and
continue to and include the next succeeding
October 31st. During said period, except when
Colorado water users are operating under decreed
priorities as provided in paragraphs F and G of
this Article, all water entering said reservoir
up to the limit of the then available
conservation capacity shall be stored: Provided,
That Colorado may demand releases of water
equivalent to the river flow up to 500 c.f.s.,
and Kansas may demand releases of water
equivalent to that portion of the river flow
between 500 c.f.s., and 750 c.f.s., irrespective
of releases demanded by Colorado.

C. Releases of water stored pursuant to the
provisions of paragraphs A and B of this Article
shall be made upon demands by Colorado and Kansas
concurrently or separately at any time during the
summer storage period. Unless increases to meet
extraordinary conditions are authorized by the
Administration, separate releases of stored water
to Colorado shall not exceed 750 c.f.s., separate
releases of stored water to Kansas shall not
exceed 500 c.f.s., and concurrent releases of
stored water shall not exceed a total of 1,250
c.f.s.: Provided, That when water stored in the
conservation pool is reduced to a quantity less
than 20,000 acre-feet, separate releases of
stored water to Colorado shall not exceed 600
c.f.s., separate releases of stored water to
Kansas shall not exceed 400 c.f.s., and
concurrent releases of stored water shall not
exceed 1,000 c.f.s.

D. Releases authorized by paragraphs A, B
and C of this Article, except when all Colorado
water users are operating under decreed
priorities as provided in paragraphs F and G of
this Article, shall not impose any call on
Colorado water users that divert waters of the
Arkansas river upstream from John Martin Dam.

E. (1) Releases of stored water and
releases of river flow may be made simultaneously
upon the demands of either or both States.

(2) Water released upon concurrent or
separate demands shall be applied promptly to
beneficial use unless storage thereof downstream
is authorized by the Administration.

(3) Releases of river flow and of stored
water to Colorado shall be measured by gaging
stations located at or near John Martin Dam and
the releases to which Kansas is entitled shall be
satisfied by an equivalent in state-line flow.

(4) When water is released from John Martin
Reservoir appropriate allowances as determined by
the Administration shall be made for the
intervals of time required for such water to
arrive at the points of diversion in Colorado and
at the state line.

(5) There shall be no allowance or
accumulation of credits or debits for or against
either state.

(6) Storage, releases from storage and
releases of river flow authorized in this Article
shall be accomplished pursuant to procedures
prescribed by the Administration under the
provisions of Article VIII.

F. In the event the Administration finds
that within a period of fourteen (14) days the
water in the conservation pool will be or is
liable to be exhausted, the Administration shall
forthwith notify the State Engineer of Colorado,
or his duly authorized representative, that
commencing upon a day certain within said
fourteen (14) day period, unless a change of
conditions justifies cancellation or modification
of such notice, Colorado shall administer the
decreed rights of water users in Colorado Water
District 67 as against each other and as against
all rights now or hereafter decreed to water
users diverting upstream from John Martin Dam on
the basis of relative priorities in the same
manner in which their respective priority rights
were administered by Colorado before John Martin
Reservoir began to operate and as though John
Martin Dam had not been constructed. Such
priority administration by Colorado shall be
continued until the Administration finds that
water is again available in the conservation pool
for release as provided in this Compact, and
timely notice of such finding shall be given by
the Administration to the State Engineer of
Colorado or his duly authorized representative:
Provided, That except as controlled by the
operation of the preceding provisions of this
paragraph and other applicable provisions of this
Compact, when there is water in the conservation
pool the water users upstream from John Martin
Reservoir shall not be affected by the decrees to
the ditches in Colorado Water District 67. Except
when administration in Colorado is on a priority
basis the water diversions in Colorado Water
District 67 shall be administered by Colorado in
accordance with distribution agreements made from
time to time between the water users in such
District and filed with the Administration and
with the State Engineer of Colorado or, in the
absence of such agreement, upon the basis of the
respective priority decrees, as against each
other, in said District.

G. During periods when Colorado reverts to
administration of decreed priorities, Kansas
shall not be entitled to any portion of the river
flow entering John Martin Reservoir. Waters of
the Arkansas river originating in Colorado which
may flow across the state line during such
periods are hereby apportioned to Kansas.

H. If the usable quantity and availability
for use of the waters of the Arkansas river to
water users in Colorado Water District 67 and
Kansas will be thereby materially depleted or
adversely affected, (1) priority rights now
decreed to the ditches of Colorado Water District
67 shall not hereafter be transferred to other
water districts in Colorado or to points of
diversion or places of use upstream from John
Martin Dam; and (2) the ditch diversion rights
from the Arkansas river in Colorado Water
District 67 and of Kansas ditches between the
state line and Garden City shall not hereafter be
increased beyond the total present rights of said
ditches, without the Administration, in either
case (1) or (2), making findings of fact that no
such depletion or adverse effect will result from
such proposed transfer or increase. Notice of
legal proceedings for any such proposed transfer
or increase shall be given to the Administration
in the manner and within the time provided by the
laws of Colorado or Kansas in such cases.
Article VI

A. (1) Nothing in this Compact shall be
construed as impairing the jurisdiction of Kansas
over the waters of the Arkansas river that
originate in Kansas and over the waters that flow
from Colorado across the state line into Kansas.

(2) Except as otherwise provided, nothing
in this Compact shall be construed as supplanting
the administration by Colorado of the rights of
appropriators of waters of the Arkansas river in
said state as decreed to said appropriators by
the courts of Colorado, nor as interfering with
the distribution among said appropriators by
Colorado, nor as curtailing the diversion and use
for irrigation and other beneficial purposes in
Colorado of the waters of the Arkansas river.

B. Inasmuch as the Frontier Canal diverts
waters of the Arkansas river in Colorado west of
the state line for irrigation uses in Kansas
only, Colorado concedes to Kansas and Kansas
hereby assumes exclusive administrative control
over the operation of the Frontier Canal and its
headworks for such purposes, to the same extent
as though said works were located entirely within
the state of Kansas. Water carried across the
state line in the Frontier Canal or any other
similarly situated canal shall be considered to
be part of the state line flow. Article VII

A. Each state shall be subject to the terms
of this Compact. Where the name of the state or
the term "state" is used in this Compact these
shall be construed to include any person or
entity of any nature whatsoever using, claiming
or in any manner asserting any right to the use
of the waters of the Arkansas river under the
authority of that state.

B. This Compact establishes no general
principle or precedent with respect to any other
interstate stream.

C. Wherever any state or federal official
or agency is referred to in this Compact such
reference shall apply to the comparable official
or agency succeeding to their duties and
functions. Article VIII

A. To administer the provisions of this
Compact there is hereby created an interstate
agency to be known as the Arkansas River Compact
Administration herein designated as "the
Administration."

B. The Administration shall have power to:

(1) Adopt, amend and revoke bylaws, rules
and regulations consistent with the provisions of
this Compact;

(2) Prescribe procedures for the
administration of this Compact: Provided, That
where such procedures involve the operation of
John Martin Reservoir Project they shall be
subject to the approval of the District Engineer
in charge of said project;

(3) Perform all functions required to
implement this Compact and to do all things
necessary, proper or convenient in the
performance of its duties.

C. The membership of the Administration
shall consist of three representatives from each
state who shall be appointed by the respective
governors for a term not to exceed four years.
One Colorado representative shall be a resident
of and water-right owner in Water Districts 14 or
17, one Colorado representative shall be a
resident of and water-right owner in Water
District 67, and one Colorado representative
shall be the Director of the Colorado Water
Conservation Board. Two Kansas representatives
shall be residents of and water-right owners in
the counties of Finney, Kearny or Hamilton, and
one Kansas representative shall be the chief
state official charged with the administration of
water rights in Kansas. The President of the
United States is hereby requested to designate a
representative of the United States, and if a
representative is so designated he shall be an ex
officio member and act as chairman of the
Administration without vote.

D. The state representatives shall be
appointed by the respective governors within
thirty days after the effective date of this
Compact. The Administration shall meet and
organize within sixty days after such effective
date. A quorum for any meeting shall consist of
four members of the Administration: Provided,
That at least two members are present from each
state. Each state shall have but one vote in the
Administration and every decision, authorization
or other action shall require unanimous vote. In
case of a divided vote on any matter within the
purview of the Administration, the Administration
may, by subsequent unanimous vote, refer the
matter for arbitration to the Representative of
the United States or other arbitrator or
arbitrators, in which event the decision made by
such arbitrator or arbitrators shall be binding
upon the Administration.

E. (1) The salaries, if any, and the
personal expenses of each member shall be paid by
the government which he represents. All other
expenses incident to the administration of this
Compact which are not paid by the United States
shall be borne by the states on the basis of 60
percent by Colorado and 40 percent by Kansas.

(2) In each even numbered year the
Administration shall adopt and transmit to the
governor of each state its budget covering
anticipated expenses for the forthcoming biennium
and the amount thereof payable by each state.
Each state shall appropriate and pay the amount
due by it to the Administration.

(3) The Administration shall keep accurate
accounts of all receipts and disbursements and
shall include a statement thereof, together with
a certificate of audit by a certified public
accountant in its annual report. Each state
shall have the right to make an examination and
audit of the accounts of the Administration at
any time.

F. Each state shall provide such available
facilities, equipment and other assistance as the
Administration may need to carry out its duties.
To supplement such available assistance the
Administration may employ engineering, legal,
clerical and other aid as in its judgment may be
necessary for the performance of its functions.
Such employees shall be paid by and be
responsible to the Administration, and shall not
be considered to be employees of either state.

G. (1) The Administration shall cooperate
with the chief official of each state charged
with the administration of water rights and with
federal agencies in the systematic determination
and correlation of the facts as to the flow and
diversion of the waters of the Arkansas river and
as to the operation and siltation of John Martin
Reservoir and other related structures. The
Administration shall cooperate in the
procurement, interchange, compilation and
publication of all factual data bearing upon the
Administration of this Compact without, in
general, duplicating measurements, observations
or publications made by state or federal
agencies. State officials shall furnish pertinent
factual data to the Administration upon its
request. The Administration shall, with the
collaboration of the appropriate federal and
state agencies, determine as may be necessary
from time to time, the location of gaging
stations required for the proper administration
of this Compact and shall designate the official
records of such stations for its official use.

(2) The Director, U.S. Geological Survey,
the Commissioner of Reclamation and the Chief of
Engineers, U.S. Army, are hereby requested to
collaborate with the Administration and with
appropriate state officials in the systematic
determination and correlation of data referred to
in paragraph G (1) of this Article and in the
execution of other duties of such officials which
may be necessary for the proper administration of
this Compact.

(3) If deemed necessary for the
administration of this Compact, the
Administration may require the installation and
maintenance, at the expense of water users, of
measuring devices of approved type in any ditch
or group of ditches diverting water from the
Arkansas river in Colorado or Kansas. The chief
official of each state charged with the
administration of water rights shall supervise
the execution of the Administration's
requirements for such installations.

H. Violations of any of the provisions of
this Compact or other actions prejudicial thereto
which come to the attention of the Administration
shall be promptly investigated by it. When deemed
advisable as the result of such investigation,
the Administration may report its findings and
recommendations to the state official who is
charged with the administration of water rights
for appropriate action, it being the intent of
this Compact that enforcement of its terms shall
be accomplished in general through the state
agencies and officials charged with the
administration of water rights.

I. Findings of fact made by the
Administration shall not be conclusive in any
court or before any agency or tribunal but shall
constitute prima facie evidence of the facts
found.

J. The Administration shall report annually
to the Governor of the States and to the
President of the United States as to matters
within its purview. Article IX

A. This Compact shall become effective when
ratified by the Legislature of each State and
when consented to by the Congress of the United
States by legislation providing substantially,
among other things, as follows:

Nothing contained in this Act or in the
Compact herein consented to shall be construed as
impairing or affecting the sovereignty of the
United States or any of its rights or
jurisdiction in and over the area or waters which
are the subject of such Compact: Provided, That
the Chief of Engineers is hereby authorized to
operate the conservation features of the John
Martin Reservoir Project in a manner conforming
to such Compact with such exceptions as he and
the Administration created pursuant to the
Compact may jointly approve.

B. This Compact shall remain in effect
until modified or terminated by unanimous action
of the states and in the event of modification or
termination all rights then established or
recognized by this Compact shall continue
unimpaired.

In Witness Whereof, The commissioners have
signed this Compact in triplicate original, one
of which shall be forwarded to the Secretary of
State of the United States of America and one of
which shall be forwarded to the governor of each
signatory state.

Done in the City and County of Denver, in
the state of Colorado, on the fourteenth day of
December, in the Year of our Lord One Thousand
Nine Hundred and Forty-eight. Henry C. Vidal,
Gail B. Ireland, Harry B. Mendenhall,
Commissioners for Colorado George S. Knapp,
Edward F. Arn, William E. Leavitt, Roland H.
Tate, Commissioners for Kansas. Attest:

Warden L. Noe, Secretary Approved:

Hans Kramer,

Representative of the United States.

FindLaw Career Center


      Post a Job  |  View More Jobs

    View More