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Development of replacement water supplies by the Lower Arkansas Water Management Association




Williamsen, Thomas A., author
U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, publisher

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The Lower Arkansas Water Management Association (LAWMA) was formed in 1973 as a "membership" association for the primary purpose of providing replacement water to allow its members to operate their wells under the rules and regulations enacted by the State Engineer. The purpose evolved somewhat by the rulings of the Special Master and U.S. Supreme Court in Kansas v. Colorado to also include the development of a program to replace well depletions both to Colorado surface water rights and to usable flow at the Colorado-Kansas Stateline in compliance with Colorado law and the Arkansas River Compact. In 1998, LAWMA re-organized as a non-profit corporation and issued stock to its members. LAWMA has purchased direct flow and storage water rights at a cost basis of value cost of $8.75 million and fallowed 8,283 acres of surface water irrigated farms to develop a water rights portfolio so that its members could continue to use their wells. LAWMA also has executed management agreements wherein members put up the water rights and LAWMA incorporates those water supplies with LAWMA's other water supplies to replace depletions caused by members' wells. The paper describes how LAWMA obtained and pooled the water supplies in order to replace the depletions caused by its members' well pumping.


Presented at Ground water and surface water under stress: competition, interaction, solutions: a USCID water management conference on October 25-28, 2006 in Boise, Idaho.

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