Kansas v. Colorado, 514 U.S. 673, 6 (1995)

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Opinion of the Court

Twice before in this century, the States of Kansas and Colorado have litigated in this Court regarding their respective rights to the waters of the Arkansas River. See Kansas v. Colorado, 206 U. S. 46 (1907); Colorado v. Kansas, 320 U. S. 383 (1943). In the first suit, the Court denied Kansas' request to enjoin diversions of the Arkansas River by Colorado because the depletions alleged by Kansas were insufficient to warrant injunctive relief. Kansas v. Colorado, supra, at 114-117. In the second suit, Colorado sought to enjoin lower court litigation brought against Colorado water users, while Kansas sought an equitable apportionment of the Arkansas River. Colorado v. Kansas, supra, at 388-389. The Court granted Colorado an injunction, but concluded that Kansas was not entitled to an equitable apportionment. 320 U. S., at 400. The Court suggested that the States resolve their differences by negotiation and agreement, pursuant to the Compact Clause of the Constitution. Id., at 392. See U. S. Const., Art. I, 10, cl. 3.

In 1949, after three years of negotiations, Kansas and Colorado approved, and Congress ratified, the Arkansas River Compact (Compact). See 63 Stat. 145; see also Report 5-6; App. to Report 1-17 (reprinting text of Compact). Article VIII of the Compact creates the Arkansas River Compact Administration (Administration) and vests it with the power and responsibility for administering the Compact. Id., at 11-15. The Administration is composed of a nonvoting presiding officer designated by the President of the United States, and three voting representatives from each State. Each State has one vote, and every decision, authorization, or other action by the Administration requires a unanimous vote. Id., at 12-13 (Article VIII-D).

The Compact's primary purposes are to "[s]ettle existing disputes and remove causes of future controversy . . . concerning the waters of the Arkansas River" and to "[e]quitably divide and apportion" the waters of the Arkansas River, "as well as the benefits arising from the construction, opera-

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