Kansas v. Colorado, 514 U.S. 673, 12 (1995)

Page:   Index   Previous  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  Next



Opinion of the Court


In 1964, the Bureau of Reclamation and Colorado began planning a program to use excess capacity at Pueblo Reservoir in order to store a portion of the winter-time flow of the Arkansas River for beneficial use at other times. Under the WWSP, winter-time flow—much of which was used previously to flood uncultivated cropland—is instead stored at the Pueblo Reservoir. Kansas contends that the Special Master erred in finding that it had failed to prove that the WWSP had "materially depleted" usable stateline flows. We disagree.

In his Report, the Special Master concluded:

"Kansas has not proved that the WWSP has caused material Stateline depletions. Kansas' case has not been helped by its own contradictions in quantifying impacts to usable flow—ranging during this trial from 255,000 acre-feet initially, to 44,000 to 40,000; nor by the fact that depletions are essentially eliminated if accretions are taken into account." Report 335.

The Special Master examined the computer models submitted by Kansas and Colorado and determined that "the depletions shown by the Kansas model are well within the model's range of error." Id., at 334-335. As a result, "[o]ne [could not] be sure whether impact or error [was] being shown." Id., at 335.

We believe that the Special Master gave Kansas every reasonable opportunity to meet its burden of proving its WWSP claim. Kansas, however, failed to prove that operation of the WWSP program resulted in material depletions of usable flows in violation of Article IV-D. See ibid. Therefore, we overrule Kansas' exception to the Special Master's conclusion that Kansas had failed to prove its WWSP claim.


Article IV-D of the Compact permits future development and construction along the Arkansas River Basin provided

Page:   Index   Previous  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  Next

Last modified: October 4, 2007