Republican River Basin
Miles of Colorado’s Republican River
The Colorado Ground Water Commission regulates water in Colorado pumped from the Ogallala Aquifer, a vast underground reservoir that is being unsustainably depleted. The Ogallala stretches from South Dakota to New Mexico and Texas and along Colorado’s eastern border.
The 1942 Republican River Compact divides the waters of the Republican between Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska. The compact allocates 190,300 acre-feet of water each year to Kansas and 234,500 acre-feet of water each year to Nebraska. If the water supply of any source varies, the allocations also change. A commission oversees compliance.
However, groundwater pumping has caused disputes and litigation among the basin states. In response, the state legislature created the Republican River Water Conservation District in 2004, which is working in various ways to increase streamflows and offset stream depletions to comply with Colorado’s compact obligations.