AG urges Kansas to avoid lawsuit

Kansas and Nebraska have an ongoing dispute regarding the Republican River, which originates on the eastern plains of Colorado.

Although Kansas was not able to make its case in non-binding arbitration, the state is now suing Nebraska in the U. S. Supreme Court over the disagreement.

Colorado was named as a party because all three states are part of the 1942 Republican River Compact.

Colorado Attorney General John Suthers is urging the states’ officials to meet with him to work out the disagreement.

“We have seen in the past that litigation in not an effective or efficient alternative for resolution of interstate disputes,” Suthers said. Because the arbitrator ruled that Kansas did not make its case, Suthers doesn’t see any benefit to Kansas using litigation to resolve it.

After beginning in Colorado, the Republican River flows into Nebraska and then Kansas.

The waters are divided among the three states by the compact.

In 1998, Kansas filed a lawsuit against Nebraska and named Colorado as a party to the compact. The states settled that suit in 2002.