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KGI Online Library

The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

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Oct 24

Publications on Water Rights in the KGI Online Library

Posted on October 24, 2019 at 9:56 AM by Bill Sowers


There are few things more important to Kansans than access to water. Agriculture, business and industry depend upon it as well as the public good. The general public drinks it, cleans with it, waters their lawns with it, boats on it, swims and fishes in it. Water is life. It has also been fought over in the courts and government halls around the state for many years.

The State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library has a growing collection of state government publications on the legal use of water ("water rights") within Kansas as well as issues involving neighboring states going back to 1902. You can access these publications here (arranged by date, oldest first):

Water Rights publications
in the KGI Online Library

One publication in this collection that jumped out at me was a 1944 report to Governor Schoeppel, "The Appropriation of Water for Beneficial Purposes: a Report to the Governor on Historic, Physical and Legal Aspects of the Problem in Kansas." Written by a group with a rather long name, the Governor's Committee to Study and Investigate the Laws of the State Relating to the Appropriation of Water, this 79 page document gives a history of water laws in Kansas, the results of the Committee's investigation in current laws in comparison to other U.S. states, "and the suggestions of the Committee for legislation to enable progress to be made with development of the state's water resources for beneficial purposes."

You can view this publication here within the KGI Online Library:

The Appropriation of Water for Beneficial Purposes

Interested in seeing more? Here are a few links to more information on Kansas water laws on other websites:


Water Law Basics
(Kansas Department of Agriculture)

Water Primer: Part 5. Water Law
(2015 - Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service)


Kansas Water Law and the Ownership of Water Resources in Kansas
by Burke W. Griggs
(Testimony before the Joint Legislative Interim Committee on Natural Resources, October 31, 2017


Kansas Water Appropriations Act
(Revised November 2018)