Archive for Friday, June 26, 2009

State Supreme Court rules against Lawrence area landowners in water case

June 26, 2009


— 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.


kansasmutt 8 years, 11 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.

bd 8 years, 11 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!

Keith 8 years, 11 months ago

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

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 11 months ago

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

justthefacts 8 years, 11 months ago

If you want to read the case for yourselves...... link here:

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.

justthefacts 8 years, 11 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.

Satirical 8 years, 11 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.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 11 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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