Sheridan County (SD-6)

 SD-6 High Priority Area (HPA)

Everything on this page will apply only to the SD-6 HPA, which just happens to be the State's first Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA). This page will be updated regularly. Please be patient as all the individual enhanced management pages are new and are subject to update at any time. 

Where is the SD-6 HPA?

It is the far Eastern HPA on the following map. The specific sections included are listed below the map.

Townships and Sections included in the SD-6 HPA shown on the above map are:

TWP 7S-28W: Sections 19-21 and 28-33
TWP 7S-29W: Sections 4-9 and 16-36
TWP 7S-30W: Sections 19-36
TWP 8S-29W: Sections 1-18
TWP 8S-30W: Sections 1-18
TWP 8S-31W: Sections 22-27 and 34-36

Documents, Notices and other Important Materials to the SD-6 Enhanced Management Process - in Chronological Order:

01) HPA SD-6 Initial Introduction and Hydrographs - November 10, 2008

02) LEMA Bill (SB 310) - April 12, 2012 becomes law

03) SD-6 Enhanced Management Proposal - Submitted July 16, 2012

04) DWR Approval Notice - August 3, 2012

05) Initial Public Hearing Notice - September 13, 2012 hearing

06) GMD4 Oral Testimony at Initial Public Hearing

07) Independent Hearing Officer's Report to Chief Engineer - October 4, 2012

08) Second Public Hearing Notice - November 28, 2012 hearing

09) DWR Hearing Officer Instructions for November 28, 2012 hearing - Hearing Order 1

10) Initial LEMA Order of Decision - Signed December 31, 2012

11) Final LEMA Order of Designation - Signed April 17, 2013

12) LEMA Order of Designation - Signed November 7, 2017

SD-6 LEMA Special Newsletters:

Newsletter - Vol. 1, No. 1 - April 17, 2013

DWR Webpage on SD-6 LEMA - All the official state information on the LEMA. (Much of the same information is included on both websites)

KGS Webpage on SD-6 LEMA - Contains all the water level measurements for the LEMA, plus the five index well hourly water level data sets. The index wells are NOT uploaded automatically so the hydrographs are static (updated only after the data is manually obtained by GMD 4 field staff and sent to KGS).

The Task 4 Process in SD-6:

Meeting Notes - Initial Meeting (November 10, 2008)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 2 (February 4, 2009
Meeting Notes - Meeting 3 (June 17, 2009)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 4 (January 25, 2010)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 5 (February 17, 2010)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 6 (June 23, 2010)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 7 (December 16, 2010 - Joint DWR, GMD, SD-6 Mtg)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 8 (January 5, 2011 - Subcommittee work session)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 9 (January 11, 2011 - Subcommittee work session)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 10 (January 19, 2011 - Recommendations Adopted)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 11 (May 25, 2011)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 12 (March 28, 2012)
Meeting Notes - Meeting 13 (May 9, 2012 - Final Mtg)

Narrative Chronological Summary from January, 2011:

January 19, 2011: Stakeholders approved a Working Draft of their SD-6 HPA Recommendations and asked that they be presented to the GMD 4 board. Moreover, that this draft be the subject of the planned GMD 4 hearing scheduled for March 3, 2011.

March 3, 2011: The GMD 4 board conducted a public hearing on the working draft which produced comments from five individuals that were taken under consideration.

April 7, 2011: GMD 4 board adopts Stakeholder working draft and begins incorporating the recommendations into the Northwest Kansas Groundwater Management District Revised Management Program.

May 25, 2011: Stakeholder meeting following the public hearing in which the stakeholders asked the GMD 4 board to NOT adopt the proposal based on the stakeholder's request, and that new legislative authority be sought to implement a locally developed proposal such as theirs.

June 1, 2011: GMD 4 board honored the stakeholders' request and declined to adopt the SD-6 enhanced management proposal. Staff was directed to begin working on new Legislative authority for implementing enhanced management areas as requested by the SD-6 stakeholders.

July 21, 2011: GMD 4 requests that the Governor's newly formed Ogallala Aquifer Advisory Committee (OAAC) consider support for the developing new enhanced management area legislation.

August 9, 2011: OAAC agrees to consider the new legislative authority and discusses it in their initial meeting. GMD 4 manager Wayne Bossert presented the concept of a special, local IGUCA to the committee. Following the presentation, questions and more discussion, the committee unanimously adopted the concept as presented. This new effort was purposely segregated from the IGUCA process, and hence was provided a new name - Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA).

Fall, 2011: GMD 4 staff begin working on a new Revised Management Program - incorporating the concepts into the existing Enhanced Management section.

January 19, 2012: The GMD 4 LEMA bill (co-drafted by GMD 4 and DWR with technical help from the Revisor of Statutes, and with multiple review and comment opportunities by the other 4 GMD's, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas Feed and Grain Association) was introduced as SB 310 by Senator Ralph Ostmeyer, Chairman of the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

April 5, 2012: The GMD 4 board approves the Revised Management Program and submits it to the chief engineer.

April 12, 2012: Governor Signs new LEMA Bill (SB 310 - see documents above) providing locals new authority to implement local enhanced management plans.

May 9, 2012: Final working draft of the SD-6 HPA enhanced management proposal is provided to the GMD 4 board.

May 16, 2012: Chief engineer reviews and approves the GMD Revised Management Program.

July 12, 2012: GMD 4 board conducts required public hearing RE: Revised Management Program for all GMD 4 members. The board also approves the Revised Management Progam and sets it's effective date as July 13, 2012.

July 16, 2012: GMD 4 board submits final SD-6 Enhanced Management Proposal (see documents above) to chief engineer after making 4 amendments to the draft provided on May 9, 2012. This version includes the board amendments (unfortunately the embedded spreadsheets did not remain clickable during the pdf conversion process).

August 3, 2012: Chief engineer determines that the SD-6 LEMA proposal meets the five statutory requirements and initiates the LEMA process. He also schedules the initial public hearing for September 13, 2012, in Hoxie, KS.

September 13, 2012: Chief engineer conducts the initial public hearing through an independent hearing officer. GMD 4 staff and six others testify.

September 26, 2012: GMD receives the remainder of the testimony submitted to the initial public hearing process - 4 additional statements.

October 4, 2012: Independent Hearing Officer Constance Owen issues her initial public hearing order - finding in the affirmative on all three statements of fact. This order recommends to the Kansas State Engineer that the SD-6 LEMA process continue.

October 10, 2012: Kansas chief engineer David Barfield accepts initial hearing report and schedules second LEMA public hearing for November 28, 10:30 AM in Hoxie, KS at the Sheridan County Courthouse.

November 28, 2012: Kansas chief engineer David Barfield conducts the second required LEMA public hearing in Hoxie, KS at the Sheridan County Courthouse. Following presentation of all testimony, the hearing record is left open through December 4, 2012 for any additional written comments.

December 31, 2012: Kansas chief engineer David Barfield issued the initial SD-6 LEMA Order of Decision. This order establishes that: the LEMA period is January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2017; individual allocations have been established for irrigation, stockwatering and recreational water rights therein - based upon the local LEMA proposal; and several other details. The individual allocations and remaining specifics of the process will be provided to all water right owners in the coming weeks.

January 22, 2013: The GMD 4 Board of Directors sends out individual notices that an Advisory Committee will be appointed in March per the proposal, and invites all interested persons to consider serving.

March 7, 2013: Gmd4 board appoints the SD-6 LEMA Advisory Committee. Members are: Sharon Munk - representing non-irrigation; Gary Moss, Brett Oelke, Grant Gaede, Dennis Rogers, Roch Meier and Stu Beckman - representing irrigation; Mitchell Baalman - representing GMD 4; and Scott Ross - representing DWR.

March 28, 2013: The advisory committee meets for the first time to organize and discuss alternative meter methods that can be pre-approved for use. Gary Moss is selected as Chairman and five alternative metering methods are suggested for DWR adoption. In short, these were: 1) Periodic meter readings and recordation; 2) Power Company records that can express operational hours; 3) Temperature sensors that can log when the well is in operation; 4) Ag-Sense or similar Ag data service; and 5) a sturdy engine hour meter - remotely mounted.

April 17, 2013: Gmd4 sends out the first edition of the new SD-6 LEMA Ledger - a newsletter just for the stakeholders of SD-6. Four issues are covered: 1) Alternative meter procedures (noting only three of the recommended five methods were adopted by DWR); 2) RMA limited irrigation program information; 3) Governor Brownback's Ag efficiency task force and their demonstration approach; and 4) the Multi-Year Flexibility Account (MYFA) option for all water rights.

April 17, 2013: Kansas Chief Engineer David Barfield signed the Order of Designation. This final order stipulates that GMD 4 is to send out individual letters to all water right owners in the LEMA within 30 days. These letters will have each water right's 5-year allocation, will describe how each water right will be affected by the order during the designated LEMA period, and other relevant information. Each water right is to receive a letter. the The full order is to be posted on the DWR and GMD 4 websites with hard copies provided to the Register of Deeds in both Sheridan and Thomas Counties and to the DWR Field Office in Stockton and GMD 4. When requested, DWR and/or GMD 4 are to mail a full copy of the order to any interested person who is affected.