State Supreme Court rules against Eudora area landowners in water case
TOPEKA -- A Kansas Supreme Court ruling on Friday affirms a water district’s right to get a temporary easement for test drilling for groundwater on an area farm.
The dispute pitted Gregory and Charlee Shipe against the Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 25.
The water district filed a petition to condemn land on the Shipes’ farm between Lawrence and Eudora for a temporary easement to drill test wells for water.
The Shipes sought a court order to try to stop the eminent domain proceeding.
The water district says the Shipes can’t fight its efforts because they don’t own the water nor the water rights that the district was trying to test.
The Shipes argued under Kansas water law, the district can’t condemn land to get a water right.
But the Supreme Court said the Shipes’ fight was premature because the water district hasn’t decided yet whether it would seek permanent access to the property and water.