|State’s Republican River Compact plans still on hold|
|Written by Tony Rayl, The Yuma Pioneer|
Colorado will have to negotiate further with Kansas, or go to the next level in the court system, before it can realize the benefits of its decisions to build an augmentation pipeline and drain Bonny Reservoir, in relation to the Republican River Compact.
Colorado and Nebraska entered into arbitration with Kansas earlier this year after Kansas’ representative on the Republican River Compact Administration voted against Colorado’s proposals on both issues.
The hearing was held before arbiter Martha Pagel earlier this fall, and Pagel issued separate rulings on both issues Wednesday, Nov. 27.
In essence, Pagel ruled Colorado is taking the proper steps but that Kansas remains “reasonable” in its objections.
“Although the arbitrator found that Colorado’s revised CCP Proposal had made significant progress in addressing unresolved issues from the prior arbitration proceeding and that Colorado had offered a reasonable and persuasive proposal for modifying inputs to the Groundwater Model, the district is disappointed that Arbiter Pagel was not able to provide Colorado with any relief from the obstructionist behavior of Kansas officials,” stated the Republican River Water Conservation District in a statement issued by its legal representative, Peter Ampe of Hill & Robbins.
The “reasonableness” issue was key to both proposals. Colorado attempted to make the case Kansas was being unreasonable in its objections and thus should have to join Colorado and Nebraska in granting RRCA approval. Though the majority is in favor of both proposals, unanimous approval is required for all issues brought before the RRCA, which consists of one representative from each of the three states.
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