Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison and state water officials accused the state of Nebraska this morning of using too much water and violating the Republican River compact.
"Actions by the state of Nebraska have been grossly insufficient and unacceptable, resulting in significant injury to Kansas," Morrison said in a statement. "Steps currently being contemplated by Nebraska will continue to be insufficient and continue to deprive Kansans of the water they need."
Morrison and Kansas Division of Water Resources officials have sent letters to the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. Kansas officials point to a 2003 settlement between Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado meant to help regulate water usage.
Kansas filed that lawsuit in 1998 because farmers complained they weren't getting their entitled water from the original 1943 compact.
Kansas and Nebraska leaders have talked about the issue for months, as Kansas has accused Nebraska of not coming up with a sufficient plan to reduce water usage after the 2003 settlement.
According to the letters released this morning, Kansas' proposals include that Nebraska pay monetary damages for violations in 2005 and 2006 and "a shutdown of wells and groundwater irrigation in Nebraska within 2.5 miles of the Republican River and its tributaries."
According to Morrison's office, Nebraska has used 82,870 more acre feet of water than it was entitled in 2005 and 2006. For example, Topeka uses about 29,000 acre feet per year.
In his statement, Morrison said Nebraska had 45 days to consider Kansas' offer. Kansas intends to seek litigation if the Republican River Compact Administration does not help achieve a resolution, he said.
The Journal-World left messages this morning with spokeswomen for the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources and Bruning's office.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.