Minimum desirable streamflow requirements were made part of the Kansas Water Appropriation Act by the Kansas Legislature to ensure base flows in certain streams to protect existing water rights and to meet in-stream water uses related to water quality, fish and wildlife, and recreation.
The Division monitors 23 streams and rivers at 33 locations for minimum desirable streamflow. When flows drop below an established threshold, pumping restrictions are imposed on permits or water rights granted after the minimum desirable streamflow provision was made into law in 1984.
All applications to appropriate water for beneficial use filed on or after April 12, 1984, are subject to any minimum desirable streamflow requirements identified and established pursuant to the following statutes:
K.S.A. 82a-703a, b and c: Minimum Streamflows Established
Any person who makes unlawful diversions of water, while an MDS order is in effect, may be subject to criminal and/or civil enforcement under the Kansas Water Appropriation Act, which may include the assessment of civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day of violation and modification or suspension of approved permit(s) or water right(s).
In order for administration to end, streamflow must remain above the MDS threshold on the affected stream for a period of at least 14 days, or appear likely to remain above MDS for the foreseeable future.