Kansas v. Colorado, 514 U.S. 673, 16 (1995)

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Opinion of the Court

gravely add to the burden [the plaintiff] would otherwise bear"). We need not, however, foreclose the applicability of laches in such cases, because we conclude that Colorado has failed to prove an element necessary to the recognition of that defense. See Costello, supra, at 282.

Colorado argues that Kansas knew or should have known by 1956, or at the latest, before 1968, that both the number of post-Compact wells and the amount of post-Compact pumping in Colorado had increased substantially. Colorado's Exceptions 37, 39. Colorado argues that by 1956 Kansas had sufficient information about increased well pumping in Colorado and its potential impact on usable stateline flows to call for an investigation to determine if a Compact violation existed. Id., at 46.

The Special Master concluded that prior to 1984, Kansas had made no formal complaint to the Administration regarding post-Compact well pumping in Colorado. Report 155- 156. Nevertheless, the Special Master concluded that Colorado's evidence did not "deal with the issue of impact on usable flow at the Stateline," id., at 161, and did "not demonstrate that [the Kansas officials] were aware of the number of wells, the extent of Colorado's pumping, or the impact or even potential impact of pumping on usable Stateline flows," id., at 164. The Special Master explained the difficulty of assessing the impact of increases in post-Compact well pumping on usable stateline flows because of changing conditions during the 1970's and early 1980's:

"The 1970s were generally dry years and some reduction in flow was to have been expected. Pueblo Dam came on line in 1976 and began to reregulate native flows. Transmountain imports increased, which to some extent provided an offset to pumping. The 1980 Operating Plan was placed into effect, which Colorado alleges offset the impacts of increased pumping downstream from John Martin Reservoir. The Winter Water Storage Program was instituted. Moreover, there was no quan-

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