Preliminary Agreement Reached to Address Quivira Impairment

Mike Oldham, Quivira NWR Manager, signs MOA. Others pictured (left to right) Director Aurelia Skipwith, Senator Jerry Moran, GMD5 President Darrell Wood.

Kanza members and staff were witness to the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between Ground Water Management District #5 (GMD5) and the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. The MOA outlines the pathway toward a resolution between the GMD5 and the refuge for years to come and is an important step toward stability for many local water right holders.

The town hall meeting where the signing took place was hosted by US Senator Jerry Moran on Saturday, July 25 at the Stafford County Annex in St. John. Aurelia Skipwith, Director of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service was a special guest at the meeting. Director Skipwith shared her desire to involve local stakeholder and work toward “science based, common sense” solutions.

According to the agreement, GMD5 will design and construct a stream-flow augmentation well-field to supplement Rattlesnake Creek with pumped groundwater in the first five years.

Other highlights in following years include:

  • The District using reasonable efforts to develop a water right purchase program and water right movement program to achieve the retirement of 2,500 acre-feet from areas close to the Rattlesnake Creek stream channel.
  • The Service utilizing enhanced water management at the Little Salt Marsh to store an additional quantity of water to provide habitat as outlined in the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Refuge.
  • The Service will also not submit a request to secure water per K.S.A. 82a-706b and K.A.R. 5-4-1 in 2020 and 2021.

This full agreement can be found on the District’s website: