Maine water master appointed to aid in dispute between Kansas, Nebraska
PORTLAND, Maine: The United States Supreme Court has appointed a special water master in Maine to help decide a case between Kansas and Nebraska. William Kayatta, who is currently a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, will preside over a three-week trial beginning in Portland on August 13th. Kansas is suing Nebraska, arguing that Nebraska violated the terms of a 2003 agreement. The dispute involves water use of the Republican River. Kansas is asking for $50 million and the shutdown of 300,000 acres of groundwater irrigation in Nebraska. Kansas originally filed suit over the dispute in 1998, and an initial settlement was reached in 2002, with additional non-binding arbitration occurring in June 2009. However, Kansas says Nebraska violated the terms of the settlement, and in 2011, the Supreme Court gave Kansas permission to file a new petition in the dispute. As a special water master, Kayatta will have the authority to fix the time and conditions for additional pleadings, direct subsequent proceedings, summon witnesses, issue subpoenas, and take evidence.
|This article was written by Kelly O'Keefe, the Director of Development for the Lucy Burns Institute. She can be reached at Kelly.O'Keefe@lucyburns.org.|