TOPEKA, Kan. -- The trial of a dispute between Kansas and Nebraska over use of water in the Republican River basin will begin Monday, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Friday.
The trial will be conducted before William J. Kayatta, Jr., the special master appointed by the United States Supreme Court to hear evidence in the case. At the conclusion of the trial, the special master will make a recommendation to the Supreme Court about disposition of the case.
At the direction of the special master, who resides in Maine, the trial will be conducted at the federal courthouse in Portland, Maine.
“We appreciate the opportunity to present our case and protect Kansas’ interest in a sufficient supply of water from the Republican River,” Schmidt said.
Kansas has alleged that Nebraska violated the terms of a 2003 settlement by overusing more than 78,000 acre-feet of water during a two-year period from 2005 to 2006. In May 2010, Kansas sought permission to ask the Supreme Court to reopen the case and enforce the terms of the settlement. The Court granted that request in April 2011 and appointed Kayatta to hear the case. The third Republican River state, Colorado, is also a party to the dispute.
The case is Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado, Case No. 126, Original.