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82a-707. Principles governing appropriations; priorities. (a) Surface or groundwaters of the state may be appropriated as herein provided. Such appropriation shall not constitute ownership of such water, and appropriation rights shall remain subject to the principle of beneficial use.

(b) The date of priority of every water right of every kind, and not the purpose of use, determines the right to divert and use water at any time when the supply is not sufficient to satisfy all water rights. Where lawful uses of water have the same date of priority, such uses shall have priority in the following order of preference: Domestic, municipal, irrigation, industrial, recreational and water power uses. The holder of a water right for an inferior beneficial use of water shall not be deprived of the use of the water either temporarily or permanently as long as such holder is making proper use of it under the terms and conditions of such holder's water right and the laws of this state, other than through condemnation.

(c) As between persons with appropriation rights, the first in time is the first in right. The priority of the appropriation right to use water for any beneficial purpose except domestic purposes shall date from the time of the filing of the application therefor in the office of the chief engineer. The priority of the appropriation right to use water for domestic purposes shall date from the time of the filing of the application therefor in the office of the chief engineer or from the time the user makes actual use of water for domestic purposes, whichever is earlier.

(d) Any water right returned to the state under the provisions of K.S.A. 2-1915, and amendments thereto, shall be placed in the custodial care of the state. While in the custodial care of the state, the priority of the water right shall remain in effect and water available under the terms and conditions of the water right shall not be considered available for further appropriation. Any surface water right held in the custodial care of the state shall neither directly benefit nor impair any other surface water right within the stream reach designated for recovery. Any water right donated to the state shall be placed in the custodial care of the state or retired at the discretion of the chief engineer.

(e) Appropriation rights in excess of the reasonable needs of the appropriators shall not be allowed.

History: L. 1917, ch. 172, § 6; R.S. 1923, 24-903; L. 1945, ch. 390, § 7; L. 1957, ch. 539, § 14; L. 1988, ch. 396, § 3; L. 2009, ch. 65, § 3; July 1.


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