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Interstate Water Management Committee Meeting Summary: June 23, 2022–Presentation by Jim Schneider with Olsson

Link to Meeting Recording:  https://youtu.be/4f04W3JmX48

  1. Call to Order—Chair Drew Dehoff, SRBC called the committee to order.
  2. Introductions of Participants on the call: Drew Dehoff, Chair; Beth Callaway, ICWP Executive Director, Brian Atkins, Carrie Roberts, Jim Schneider, Jeff Cowley, Joy Loughry, Katherine Zitsch, Kay Whittington, Linwood Peele, Melinda Fegler, Mike Nardolilli, Peter Colohan, Pooja Kanwar, SeungAh Byun, Shaili Pfeiffer, Amy Shalcross, Sue Lowry, Jennifer Verleger, Wade Loseman, Adel Abdallah, Bob Bacon, Han Wei, Kirsten Wallace, Lauren Salvato
  3. Presentation by Jim Schneider, Olsson—Platte/Republican River Diversion Project transbasin diversion case study

Jim summarized the interstate water management background for the North Platte, South Platte, Central Plate and Republican Rivers, all of which have been governed by some aspect of an interstate compact or court decree/litigation dating back as early as the 1920s. The Republican River’s development spanning from four diversion projects and groundwater development conflicts between Kansas and Nebraska led to an imported water supply credit as a result of a 2003 litigation settlement; up until now the only transbasin transfer in Nebraska is by way of groundwater. Jim then highlighted the current project to conduct a transbasin diversion from the Platte River to the Republic River, which is facilitated by 1981 Nebraska state statutes that added “interstate compacts” as a beneficial use. The Republican diversion project will run along the E-65 canal diversion on the Platte and then discharge into Turkey Creek (a tributary to the Republican). The proposed project would only use excess flows; the application was to be junior to all present and future water rights in the basin. Following the presentation, attendees asked questions that touches on topics ranging from wildlife purposes, how the project is funded (Natural Resource Districts can tax irrigators up to $10/acre/year to fund projects like this one).

The presentation and subsequent discussion were lively and took most of the scheduled committee meeting time. Other items for the committee’s consideration were not discussed but will be addressed at the next Interstate Committee meeting

  1. Next meeting—TBD; likely ~August. Potential topics include: CO River transbasin diversion Lake Powell Pipeline case study.



Interstate Water Management Committee:  Educate public officials about value of interstate water management organizations.  Provide a forum for sharing current trends in interstate issues.

2019-21 Accomplishments:

  • Updated the 2006 “Interstate Water Solutions” report
  • Completed an Interstates Water Primer
  • Updated Interstate Water Management Case Studies
  • Held series of webinars hearing from various Great Lakes organizations
  • Katherine Tucker provided a summary of her survey on interstate’s funding
  • Webinar held on FL v. GA litigation

Issues for 2022 Workplan

  • Hold series of webinars on Trans basin diversions across the country
  • Federal Reserved Rights Primer (perhaps Norm Johnson could do a similar webinar to what he presented at AWRA-SLC)
  • Ask member states/interstates to give talks on recent litigation

            Republican River Basin (KS and NE)

            Montana v Wyoming—Chris Brown from Wyoming AG’s office

            Ken Brazil mentioned some Water Quality interstate litigation

  • Work with interstate water organizations to highlight, promote and nourish regional approaches and effective organizations.