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Archive for Friday, June 26, 2009

State Supreme Court rules against Lawrence area landowners in water case

June 26, 2009

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— A Kansas Supreme Court ruling on Friday affirms a water district’s right to get a temporary easement for test drilling for groundwater on an area farm.

The dispute pitted Gregory and Charlee Shipe against the Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 25.

The water district filed a petition to condemn land on the Shipes’ farm between Lawrence and Eudora for a temporary easement to drill test wells for water.

The Shipes sought a court order to try to stop the eminent domain proceeding.

The water district says the Shipes can’t fight its efforts because they don’t own the water nor the water rights that the district was trying to test.

The Shipes argued under Kansas water law, the district can’t condemn land to get a water right.

But the Supreme Court said the Shipes’ fight was premature because the water district hasn’t decided yet whether it would seek permanent access to the property and water.

Comments

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 9 months ago

Come on people, we were never free to begin with. The government has all the say so and we just try to hang on to what little we have left. Real freedom is more of a dream and property rights, will you work your whole life and really all your doing is maintaining it for the government when your heirs have to sell it to pay the death tax which the thieves in Washington use to re-distribute wealth.

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Satirical 4 years, 9 months ago

I agree with justthefacts. This is an old law and eminent domain is the right of the sovereign. No one wants their land taken by eminent domain, but when it is taken for a public purpose and fairly compensated, the state has the right (which can be delegated).

Also, if you sell underground rights, such as mineral rights, the holder of the right also has the authority to extract the resource (otherwise what would be the point). While this landowner didn’t sell his water rights, he never had them, if the water is to be condemned then the right of extraction comes with it.

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logrithmic 4 years, 9 months ago

This ruling sucks. The Supremes can hide behind their legalities all they want to. You know if it was their land, they'd be crying foul.

By law, agricultural interests should always be given deferential treatment over development, which is what this water fight is about.

Nuff said and God bless!

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Machiavelli_mania 4 years, 9 months ago

Typical Ridiculous, Ransacking Religious Rite Rip-off artists....

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 9 months ago

Found this and what a crock!

The poor folks do not own the water rights and are therefore subject to having their land stolen by government!

http://www.ksda.gov/appropriation/content/240

"Why Do I Need a Water Right?

Water, like other natural resources enjoyed so bountifully by Kansans, is protected for the use and benefit of the citizens of this state. Water should be used wisely and good conservation measures should be practiced by all water users.

The Kansas Water Appropriation Act protects both the people's right to use Kansas water and the state's supplies of groundwater and surface water for the future.

The law is administered by the Kansas Department of Agriculture's Division of Water Resources, which issues permits to appropriate water, regulates usage, and keeps records of all water rights in the state.

It is illegal for individuals in Kansas to use water without holding a vested right or applying for, and receiving a permit to appropriate water from the Division of Water Resources.

The exception is water used solely for domestic purposes - that is, water primarily used for the household, watering livestock on pasture, or watering up to two acres of lawn and gardens. No permit is needed for that class of water usage.

The Water Appropriation Act affects all Kansans. If you are a farmer who uses irrigation to grow crops, it requires you to obtain a permit and to make yearly reports of the water you use. If you are a city dweller who drinks, washes with, or cavorts in, city water, you likely are able to do so because your municipality has a water right or rights.

The right to use Kansas water is based on the principle of "first in time - first in right." In times of shortage, that means the earliest water right or permit holders have first rights to use the water. The maintenance of water right and permit records allows Kansas water to be apportioned fairly.

. . . the Water Appropriation Act is Kansas law. Violating it can subject you to a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Why is it so important to follow proper procedures to obtain a water right and report use of water? One reason is to protect the investment in your right to divert water for beneficial use on your farm for irrigation, a feedlot, recreational reservoir, or in your municipality, water supply district, or industry. Another reason is to protect Kansas water resources for tomorrow and future generations. Finally, you should remember that the Water Appropriation Act is Kansas law. Violating that law can subject you to a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine."

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justthefacts 4 years, 9 months ago

The Kansas Water Rights Act was enacted in 1945 (not exactly a new law). And the concept of eminent domain is as old as this country and older. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eminent_...

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justthefacts 4 years, 9 months ago

If you want to read the case for yourselves...... link here: http://www.kscourts.org/Cases-and-Opinions/opinions/supct/2009/20090626/100556.htm

Here is what the court said: We conclude that the landowners have standing to object to a temporary easement on their property, although they do not have standing to object to the condemnation of water rights which they do not possess. Nevertheless, the question of whether a water district can condemn water rights or property for the purpose of providing permanent access to a point of diversion for the use of water rights is not ripe for decision in this case because: (a) The landowners in this action do not hold the water rights, (b) the current eminent domain proceeding does not seek a permanent easement for a point of diversion, (c) it is not known if the water district will ever seek to condemn the property for the purpose of obtaining legal access to a point of diversion, or (d) if in the future the water district seeks a permanent easement for a point of diversion, it is not known if the current landowners will still possess an interest in the land or if a purchase could be successfully negotiated. We, therefore, affirm the district court's order of dismissal.

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Boston_Corbett 4 years, 9 months ago

Don't worry about it Marion. You will be dead from swine flu long before.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 9 months ago

Yet another inroad on property rights.

We are headed towards a society in which there simply are no private property rights and some people's president is encouraging it all the way.

Spreading the wealth around through theft.

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Machiavelli_mania 4 years, 9 months ago

While I would blame it on Miller and the Ridiculous Religious Rite.

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Keith 4 years, 9 months ago

It's Obama's fault! There, thought I'd save nancy boy some typing.

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bd 4 years, 9 months ago

The whole story is that the City of Lawrence has purchased "ALL" of the water rights from Clinton even though they will not need them for many years to come, thus forcing the outlying water districts to hunt for water for their customers!

Wholesale water district 25 is a joint venture of three rural water districts that surround Clinton that are being blackmailed into buying overpriced water from Lawrence or installing wells along the river???

Heck, they tried to obtain water rights from the old Farmland plant but the City put a stop to that also!

Kinda between a rock and a hard place!

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Machiavelli_mania 4 years, 9 months ago

This issue could get really scary very fast. I think that the water district better back off and find a better way to address this issue. This is not! something one would want to follow thru upon. This is bad, bad stuff!!!

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kansasmutt 4 years, 9 months ago

I say if the water district wants to get water, let them buy land and drill on the land they own. How dare they just want to go onto a persons land and drill holes.That is BS in my book.I dont see this case ever being ok,d to allow them to just enter a persons land and start drilling holes.If they want to buy the water rights from the landowner, then let them buy them for a fair price and drill.

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madmike 4 years, 9 months ago

So much for property owner's rights in Kansas.

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