Multi-Year Flex Accounts
The Kansas Legislature made several changes to the water right flex account program through Senate Bill 272, which was signed by Governor Brownback on March 5, 2012. Most water right holders may apply for a multi-year flex account by which they obtain a 5-year term permit that temporarily replaces an existing (or base) water right. This term permit allows the water right holder to exceed their annual authorized quantity in any year but restricts total pumping over the 5-year period.
Right: Chief Engineer David Barfield discusses the MYFA program. Click lower righthand corner of video to view in full screen mode.
This program is voluntary and does not change the underlying base water right. At the end of the 5-year period, if not extended by a new MYFA application, the operation of the water right returns back to the original water right conditions.
Below are some basics about the program. Please contact your local DWR field office or Groundwater Management District to schedule an appointment if you need assistance in evaluating your options or completing the application form.
An application for a multi-year flex account shall be filed on or before October 1 of the first year of the multi-year flex account term for which the application is being made.
A word about deadlines:
- Deadlines noted above are in statute and cannot be waived
- Separate applications must be received for each point of diversions under the base water right before the deadline
- MYFA Application Form (Form revised March 26, 2013 – See program refinements below.)
- SB 272 (amended KSA 82a-736)
MYFA quantities - generally, the total amount of the 5-year flex account will be the larger of:
- 5 times the average use of the water right from 2000-2009, or
- 5 times the county’s net irrigation requirement for corn times the acres irrigated times 110%
Frequently Asked Questions
I need access to more water to irrigate my crops. Is there another drought term permit available?
No. The tool available to pump more water than your annual quantity is the multiyear flex account (MYFA). The MYFA program, as revised by the 2012 Kansas Legislature, allows water right holders to obtain a five-year term permit that temporarily replaces their water right. This term permit allows the water right holder to exceed their annual authorized quantity in any year but restricts total pumping over the five-year period.
How do I apply for the new multi-year flex account program?
Forms are available online or water rights’ holders can contact their local KDA/DWR field office or Groundwater Management District office.
How does the MYFA program work?
This program is voluntary and does not change the underlying base water right. It suspends the base water right and provides authorization of 5 times the right’s annual average use or a net irrigation requirement calculation. The MYFA allows total flexibility on how the right is exercised with no annual limit on quantity. It has a 5-year quantity limit.
What is the penalty if I overpumped my drought term permit but didn't enroll in a MYFA?
Because of the prolonged drought, we are committed not to increase or decrease enforcement activity. To avoid a fine or suspension of water use in the event of a drought term being overpumped, the producer must cease pumping and enroll in a MYFA to continue pumping for the remainder of 2012. If the producer chooses not to enroll in a MYFA after overpumping has occurred, the fine will be $500 and a suspension of the amount overpumped, which reduces the use in 2013. If producers have exceeded their authorized quantities in previous years, the fines and penalties could be significantly greater.
What is the deadline to apply for a MYFA?
Currently, the deadline to apply for a MYFA is Oct 1, 2012, for the 2012 MYFA with a $400 filing fee. We encourage producers to start the MYFA application process as soon as they realize that their authorized quantity of water will be exceeded, in order to provide the most efficient and responsive application assistance.
- Only vested and certified groundwater rights in good standing are eligible for MYFAs.
- A separate MYFA shall be required for each point of diversion authorized by the base water right.
- The applicant is required to install and maintain an acceptable water flowmeter that meets all current specifications, to allow the meter to be sealed, to install anti-reverse components directed by DWR, and to maintain monthly records of water used.
- MYFAs are available statewide for uses other than irrigation.
- The entire water right must be placed in the MYFA program. If you wish to include only a portion of the water right, you must first apply for a division of the water right.
- MYFAs are available in all Intensive Groundwater Use Control Areas (IGUCAs), except the Walnut Creek IGUCA, the Lower Smoky Hill River IGUCA and Arkansas River IGUCA above Garden City.
- The MYFA application form has been revised to streamline and clarify program provisions.
- Exceptions to requiring the upgrading of meter installations that do not meet all current metering specifications will be considered if the meter was installed properly under previous specifications and accuracy can be verified through a compliance check.
- Meter sealing requirements have been clarified. Sealing will be done by either DWR or the appropriate GMDs upon confirmation that the meter fully meets current specifications and/or a test finds the meter accurate. Our plan is to also do this as well for other meter installations where we (or a GMD) does a test and determines the meter to be accurate.
- While backup measurement devices, such as hour meters, will no longer be a requirement of an approved MYFA permit, we strongly encourage water users to maintain alternative measuring devices and record keeping.