City of Hays / R9 Ranch Water Right Change Applications

Additional information on the Hays / R9 Ranch water transfer application

On October 26, 2022, the Water Protection Association of Central Kansas (WaterPACK) was granted an extension of time, until November 14, 2022, to file its opening brief to the Kansas Supreme Court.

On August 23, 2022, WaterPACK filed a notice of its intent to appeal the Edwards County District Court order that had modified in some respects but largely upheld the Chief Engineer’s contingent approval of the change applications previously filed by the Cities of Hays and Russell (Cities) to the Kansas Court of Appeals. The Cities subsequently filed a motion requesting transfer of the case to the Kansas Supreme Court, and the Supreme Court granted that motion on September 26, 2022. The initial deadline for WaterPACK to file its opening brief in the Kansas Supreme Court was October 24, 2022.

On June 29, 2022, Chief District Judge Bruce Gatterman issued his Memorandum of Decision and Order in the case. In the Order, Judge Gatterman provided discussion and decisions on the five issues that were in question. Judge Gatterman found that DWR failed " consider the rights of area water users and/or water right holders to receive notice and opportunity to be heard at any public hearing concerning a proposed modification of the [ten-year rolling average] limitation..." and ordered that DWR's Master Order be modified to give those water right holders such consideration. On all other issues, Judge Gatterman found that "WaterPACK has failed to meet its burden of proof under K.S.A. 77-621(c) to establish the invalidity of agency action in all other respects, and its Petition for Judicial Review on those issues is denied." Click here to read the Order. 

On May 29, 2019, WaterPACK filed a petition for judicial review in Edwards County District Court. See the WaterPACK Judicial Review table below for related documents. 

On March 27, 2019, the Chief Engineer contingently approved the change applications submitted by the Cities to convert the irrigation rights of R9 Ranch in Edwards County to municipal use. Documents related to this action can be accessed in the Change Application Processing table below.

The City of Hays purchased the approximately 7,000-acre R9 Ranch and its 30 water rights in southwestern Edwards County in 1995, with the intention of someday using the water as part of the Cities of Hays and Russell's public water supply.

In June 2015, the Cities submitted applications to DWR to change the use made of water of the R9 Ranch water rights from irrigation to municipal use. As these proposed changes envision the transfer of more than 2,000 acre-feet of water more than 35 miles, the Cities also submitted an application to transfer water from Edwards County to the Cities in January 2016, pursuant to the Water Transfer Act (K.S.A. 82a-1501, et seq.).

The water right change applications and other information related to their consideration are available in the tables below.

In May 2018, a draft proposed Master Order and exhibits were transmitted to Big Bend Groundwater Management District No. 5 (GMD5) for its review and posted on this website, along with the change applications and amendments. A public informational meeting was held on June 21, 2018 to discuss the applications. GMD5 provided a recommendation on August 28, which was supplemented on September 14; WaterPACK provided additional responses on August 21 and 13; and the Cities provided responses on September 14 and 18. 

Change Application Processing

Description Document File
File Size     Date Posted Provided By
DWR letter addressing corrected preliminary legal descriptions on second amended change applications DWR Letter and Supporting Documents 402 KB  05/15/2019  DWR 
Hays/Russell notice of corrected legal descriptions missing from second amended change applications Letter to DWR 117 KB  05/15/2019  City of Hays 
DWR contingent approval of change applications Transmittal Letter

Master Order (Contingent Approval)
836 KB
8 MB
03/28/2019 DWR 
Summary of DWR contingent approval of change applications  DWR Approval Summary  130 KB  03/28/2019 DWR
DWR review of R9 Ranch pumping and water levels DWR Review

1 MB
Hays/Russell amended monitoring plan Amended Monitoring Plan 358 KB  02/04/2019 City of Hays
Updated modeling report (Fixing a minor technical error identified by GMD 5, 07/2018) Updated Modeling Report 5 MB  09/24/2018 Burns & McDonnell 
GMD5 recommendation regarding change applications, expanded GMD5 Recommendation, Expanded 499 KB  09/14/2018 GMD5 
GMD5 recommendation regarding change applications GMD5 Recommendation 643 KB  08/30/2018 GMD5 
DWR/Hays notice to GMD5 of proposed revision of well location description Notice to GMD5 of Revised Well Location Description 301 KB 08/21/2018 DWR
City of Hays
Proposed revision of municipal well location description Hays Revision of Well Location Description  249 KB  08/21/2018  City of Hays 
DWR request to GMD5 for a recommendation concerning change applications DWR Request for GMD5 Recommendation 55 KB  08/03/2018 DWR
Public Informational Meeting supporting information, 06/21/2018 See "Reference Materials" Table Below  NA  06/25/2018 DWR
City of Hays
DWR summary and tentative timeline concerning review of change applications DWR Summary and Tentative Timeline
61 KB  05/15/2018  DWR
DWR letter providing drafts to GMD5 DWR Transmittal to GMD5  46 KB  05/07/2018 DWR
DWR draft: Proposed Master Order DRAFT: Proposed Master Order
1 MB  05/07/2018 DWR
DWR draft: Proposed Master Order exhibits DRAFT: Proposed Master Order exhibits
5 MB  05/07/2018 DWR
Hays letter confirming intent to amend change applications Intent to Amend Change Apps
80 KB  05/07/2018 City of Hays
DWR notice of posting modeling report and files Notice of Posting R9 Modeling Report 40 KB  02/19/2018 DWR
R9 Ranch Groundwater Modeling Report R9 Ranch Modeling Report 3.4 MB 02/16/2018 City of Hays
DWR letter following meeting, 04/06/2016 DWR Additional Comments Letter 2
04/08/2016 DWR
DWR letter upon further review of the change applications, 03/08/2016 DWR Meeting Preparation Letter 446 KB 04/08/2016 DWR
DWR letter upon their initial review of the change applications, 01/21/2016 DWR Initial Review Letter 894 KB 04/08/2016 DWR

WaterPACK Judicial Review


File Size  
Document Date
KS Supreme Court Order Remanding WaterPACK's Appeal to District Court  119 KB  06/20/2023 
Memorandum Decision and Order (Court)  304 KB  06/29/2022 
Memorandum in Support of Petition for Judicial Review (WaterPACK)
    Appendix A: Unpublished Draft Master Order
    Appendix B: Deposition of David Barfield
460 KB
1 MB
1 MB
Order Granting Defendant's Motions and Granting Plaintiff's Motion in Part (Court) 270 KB 04/27/2020
Notice of Submission of Additional Evidence Pursuant to Court Order (DWR) 1 MB  04/16/2020
Request and Order for Transcripts (Hays/Court) 174 KB  04/16/2020
Certificate of Correction to Agency Record (DWR) 850 KB  04/15/2020
Notice of Transmittal of Correction to Agency Record (DWR) 73 KB  04/15/2020
Motion to Correct Agency Record (DWR) 717 KB  03/20/2020
Response to Motion to Correct & Supplement the Administrative Record (DWR) 1 MB  03/20/2020
Response to Motion to Correct & Supplement the Administrative Record (Hays) 231 KB  03/20/2020
Agreed Order Extending Deadline to Respond & Continuing Related Motions Hearing (Court)
261 KB
Notice of Automatic Substitution of Party Defendant (Chris Beightel for David Barfield)
73 KB
Motion to Correct & Supplement the Administrative Record (WaterPACK)
1 MB
Motion to Submit Additional Evidence (DWR)
467 KB
Entry of Appearance (Aaron L. Kite, Counsel for WaterPACK) 
65 KB
Notice to Take Deposition (WaterPACK)
152 KB
Order Partially Granting and Partially Denying Motion for Discovery, as to Request for Depositions (Court) 222 KB 01/13/2020
Order Partially Denying Motion for Discovery and Taking Request for Depositions Under Advisement (Court) 222 KB  12/16/2019
Response to Supplemental Brief (Russell) 1 MB  12/06/2019
Response to Supplemental Brief (Hays/Russell) 6 MB  12/06/2019
Response to Supplemental Brief (DWR) 192 KB  12/06/2019
Supplemental Brief (WaterPACK) 180 KB  11/08/2019
Order Setting Oral Arguments (Court) 58 KB 10/08/2019 
Response to Motion for Discovery (Russell) 741 KB  09/20/2019
Response to Motion for Discovery (Hays/Russell) 985 KB  09/19/2019
Response to Motion for Discovery (DWR) 36 KB  09/19/2019
Motion for Discovery (WaterPACK) 221 KB  08/27/2019
Agreed Order Granting DWR Motion to Extend Agency-Record Transmittal Deadline (Court)
250 KB 07/12/2019
Hays/Russell Answer 185 KB  07/09/2019
Agreed Order Granting Hays/Russell Motion to Intervene (Court) 168 KB 07/05/2019
Hays/Russell Motion to Intervene
213 KB 
DWR Answer
171 KB  06/28/2019
Motion to Extend Agency-Record Transmittal Deadline (DWR) 153 KB 06/27/2019
Entry of Appearance (Aaron B. Oleen, Counsel for DWR) 20 KB  06/14/2019
Petition for Judicial Review (WaterPACK)
Petition for Judicial Review with Attachments (WaterPACK)
189 KB
12 MB

Requests for Administrative Review

Change Applications

File No. Original Application Amended Application Second Amended Application
Multiple Cover letter for original application
June 25, 2015
Amended applications sent November, 2016 -no cover letter Cover letter with second group of amended applications 
March 25-26, 2018
21,729-D1 21,729-D1 original application
21,729-D1 amended application
21,729-D1 second amended application
21,729-D2 21,729-D2 original application
  21,729-D2 second amended application
21,730 21,730 original application
21,730 amended application
21,730 second amended application
21,731 21,731 original application
21,731 amended application
21,731 second amended application
21,732-D1 21,732-D1 original application
21,732-D1 amended application
21,732-D1 second amended application
21,732-D2 21,732-D2 original application
  21,732-D2 second amended application
21,733 21,733 original application
21,733 amended application
21,733 second amended application
21,734 21,734 original application
21,734 amended application
21,734 second amended application
21,841 21,841 original application
21,841 amended application
21,841 second amended application
21,842 21,842 original application
21,842 amended application
21,842 second amended application
22,325 22,325 original application  22,325 amended application
22,325 second amended application
22,326 22,326 original application
22,326 amended application
22,326 second amended application
22,327 22,327 original application
22,327 amended application
22,327 second amended application
22,329 22,329 original application
22,329 amended application
22,329 second amended application
22,330 22,330 original application
22,330 amended application
22,330 second amended applications
22,331 22,331 original application
22,331 amended application
22,331 second amended application
22,332 22,332 original application
22,332 amended application
22,332 second amended application
22,333 22,333 original application
22,333 amended application
22,333 second amended application
22,334 22,334 original application
22,334 amended application
22,334 second amended application
22,335 22,335 original application
22,335 amended application
22,335 second amended application
22,338 22,338 original application
22,338 amended application
22,338 second amended application
22,339 22,339 original application
22,339 amended application
22,339 second amended application
22,340 22,340 original application
22,340 amended application
22,340 second amended application
22,341 22,341 original application
22,341 amended application
22,341 second amended application
22,342 22,342 original application
22,342 amended application
22,342 second amended application
22,343 22,343 original application
22,343 amended application
22,343 second amended application
22,345 22,345 original application
22,345 amended application
22,345 second amended application
22,346 22,346 original application
22,346 amended application
22,346 second amended application
27,760 27,760 original application
27,760 amended application
27,760 second amended application
29,816 29,816 original application
29,816 amended application
29,816 second amended application
30,083 30,083 original application
30,083 amended application
30,083 second amended application
30,084 30,084 original application
30,084 amended application 30,084 second amended application

Reference Materials

Description Document File File Size Date Posted Provided by
Recharge Information, Hansen Report USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4230  17 KB 04/08/2016 USGS
GMD #5 Groundwater Model Report Hydrologic Model of Big Bend GMD No. 5 13 KB 04/08/2016 Balleau Groundwater, INC.
R9 Ranch area wells Local well ID lookup table
KGS WIZARD website 
NA 04/08/2016 KGS

Public Comments Regarding Change Applications

Description Document File File Size Document Date Provided by
Cities' letter to DWR regarding change applications Hays and Russell to DWR
64 KB  09/14/2018 Hays & Russell
Cities' Comments on Draft Master Order Hays and Russell Letter 2 MB 09/14/2018 Hays & Russell 
WaterPack transfer quantity challenge to DWR WaterPack Letter 633 KB 09/11/2018 WaterPack 
Balleau technical assessment on the R9 Ranch modeling and WaterPACK analysis Balleau assessment 44 MB  08/30/2018 GMD5 
Balleau in-line comments on the Keller-Bliesner August 21 review Balleau comments on Keller report  1.8 MB  08/27/2018  GMD5
Keller review of Burns & McDonnell modeling report Keller review of Burns and McDonnell report  197 KB 08/22/2018  Keller
Cities of Hays and Russell response to Keller report from June 21, 2018 public meeting Cities' response to Keller report 165 KB  08/06/2018 Hays & Russell
Burns & McDonnell review of Keller R9 Ranch reports from June 21, 2018 public meeting Burns & McDonnell review of Keller report 5 MB  08/06/2018 Burns & McDonnell
Email string between GMD 5 and the Cities' consultants regarding the Cities' modeling work July 2018 email string 171 KB  07/2018 Multiple
Public comment Kent Moore (WaterPACK) 91 MB 07/25/2018  WaterPACK
Public comment Richard Wenstrom 78 KB  07/16/2018  Wenstrom 
Public comment Kent Moore (WaterPACK)   192 KB 07/16/2018  WaterPACK
Public comment Leroy Wetzel   61 KB  07/13/2018  Wetzel 
Public comment Lee Borck 90 KB  07/10/2018  Borck 
Public comment Quentin Hirsh 15 KB  07/10/2018  Hirsh 
Public comment William Burr 16 KB  07/07/2018  Burr 
Public comment Barry Mayhew 15 KB  07/06/2018  Mayhew 
Public comment Jared Stegman 15 KB  06/29/2018  Stegman 
City of Hays and DWR Presentations on Hays/R9 Water Right Changes Link to YouTube Video 
DWR Hays/R9 Summary
City of Hays PPT
NA 06/25/2018 DWR/Hays
Public comments by WaterPACK/Keller on Hays/R9 Water Right Changes - Consumptive Use Link to YouTube Video
WaterPACK/Keller PPT
NA  06/25/2018 WaterPACK/
Public comment Jane Wenstrom 104 KB 06/09/2018 Wenstrom
R9 Ranch Consumptive Use Analysis R9 Ranch Consumptive Use Analysis 5 MB 11/24/2016  WaterPACK 


1995                R9 Ranch and water rights purchased by the City of Hays

2015-06-26      Cities of Hays and Russell (Cities) apply to change R9 Ranch water rights from
                         irrigation to municipal use

2016-01-06      Cities apply to transfer water from R9 Ranch to Hays and Russell

2016-01-21      KDA-DWR letter to the Cities with comments from its review of the change

2016-03-08      KDA-DWR letter to the Cities with additional comments from its review of the        
                         change applications

2016-03-24      Cities of Hays and Russell meet with KDA-DWR to discuss details of the water right
                         change applications

2016-04-06       KDA-DWR letter to the Cities summarizing 3/24/2016 meeting and next steps

2018-02-16       KDA-DWR post Cities' modeling report

2018-05-07       KDA-DWR transmits draft proposed master order with exhibits to GMD No. 5 for
                          review and posts to its website

2018-05-11       KDA-DWR posts change applications and amendments to its website. 

2018-06-21       Public informational meeting to discuss application in Greensburg, Kansas.
Summer 2018   Public input on proposed change applications

2018-08-30       GMD No. 5 comments on change applications

2018-09-14       GMD No. 5 provides supplemental comments on change applications

2018-10-05       Updated modeling report

2019-03-27       Contingent Approval of Change Applications