Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5 is pursuing a Local Enhanced Management Area ("LEMA"). The proposed LEMA has one primary goal:
This page is intended to provide information to stakeholders in the area regarding this process.
The District is diligently working with area stakeholders to provide a sustainable remedy to the Quivira NWR impairment complaint. The issue at hand is extremely complex and affects the livelihood of several generations throughout this region. As such, the District is considering every option thoroughly and consulting expert hydrogeologists to ensure that the objectives put forward are effective and based on the best science available.
In February, the District board unanimously approved the Quivira NWR LEMA plan to be submitted to the Chief Engineer for review in preparation for public hearings. Initially, KDA-DWR provided feedback expressing concerns with the technical basis for the LEMA plan as a remedy for the impairment at Quivira NWR. At the end of July, KDA-DWR formally rejected the Quivira NWR LEMA plan and in the same letter threatened direct administration effective January 1, 2020.
The District has filed a petition for review of the Chief Engineer's rejection of GMD 5's proposed LEMA plan and a petition for stay of proceedings pending resolution of Big Bend Groundwater Management District 5's petition for review.
The District received notice that Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Beam, has granted the District's petition for review of the Chief Engineer's rejection of the proposed Quivira NWR LEMA plan. However, the petition for stay of proceedings requested by the District was rejected. The full order from the Secretary of Agriculture can be found here.