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42-701. Irrigation districts; petition and application for organization of district; contents of application; application to be accompanied by map and supplementary information. (a) A majority of the qualified owners of irrigable lands within a proposed irrigation district who shall be three or more persons and who own, collectively, at least 60 acres of land which are susceptible of irrigation, and who own a majority of the irrigable acres in such proposed district, may petition and make application to the chief engineer of the division of water resources of the Kansas department of agriculture, for the organization, establishment and authority to incorporate an irrigation district under the provisions of this act. Qualified owners of irrigable land shall be understood and construed to mean taxpayers of such proposed district owning irrigable land or some interest therein, in such proposed district. A qualified owner of irrigable land who is a tenant in common shall be understood and construed to own the number of acres of land to which such person would be entitled in the event that partition were made of such real estate, in kind, upon an acreage basis and not a valuation basis. A qualified owner of irrigable land who is a joint tenant shall be understood and construed to own the number of acres such person would receive in the event that the tract of land involved were divided, in kind, equally among the joint tenants owning such tract, upon an acreage basis and not upon a valuation basis. A corporation incorporated under the provisions of K.S.A. 17-5901, and amendments thereto, trust, association or partnership which legally holds title to such irrigable land shall be a qualified owner of irrigable land under the provisions of this act. Lands to be included in a district need not be contiguous. Irrigation districts may be formed in order to cooperate with the United States under the federal reclamation laws, heretofore or hereafter enacted, or under any act of congress which shall permit the performance by the United States of work in this state for the purpose of construction of irrigation works, including drainage works, or for purchase, extension, operation, or maintenance of constructed works, or for the assumption, as a principal or guarantor, of indebtedness to the United States on account of district works. When organized, irrigation districts shall have the authority and power conferred, or that may hereafter be conferred, by law upon such irrigation districts.

(b) The certificate of the register of deeds of the county where the land is located shall be sufficient evidence of title for the purposes of this act. Before any such district shall be established, the requisite number of qualified owners of irrigable lands, shall file an application with the chief engineer of the division of water resources of the Kansas department of agriculture, for the approval of the creation of the proposed district. Such application shall be accompanied by adequate maps, a general description of the lands proposed to be included in the district and a statement of the source of water supply for the district, and such application shall set forth: (1) The proposed name of the irrigation district designated as "__________ Irrigation District No. ______" (indicating in blank space number of district in consecutive order as incorporated and established); (2) a description of the territory proposed to be organized as a district, which description shall be deemed sufficient if generally accurate; (3) the names of the qualified owners of irrigable lands within the proposed district, together with addresses of such persons, if known; (4) the source from which the lands in the proposed district are expected to be irrigated, the character of the works, water rights, canals, ditches, and other property, proposed to be acquired or constructed for irrigation or drainage purposes in such district; (5) a statement of the need and purpose of organizing, incorporating and establishing such proposed district; and (6) a request that the chief engineer define the boundaries of the lands to be benefited within the proposed district, and for approval of maps, plans and specifications submitted and for a permit approving organization of proposed irrigation district. Such application for authority to incorporate shall be accompanied by application for acquisition of permit for use of water.

History: L. 1941, ch. 262, § 1; L. 1947, ch. 284, § 1; L. 1979, ch. 155, § 1; L. 1992, ch. 70, § 1; L. 2004, ch. 101, § 77; July 1.

Attorney General's Opinions:

Regulation requiring unsanitary water well to be plugged not illegal taking of water right. 2003-29.


1. Various constitutional objections considered and act held valid; discussed; construed. State, ex rel., v. Knapp, 167 Kan. 546, 549, 554, 556, 207 P.2d 440.

2. Discussed; Laws 1951, chapter 304 (K.S.A. 42-721) examined and construed; held valid. Mizer v. Kansas Bostwick Irrigation District, 172 Kan. 157, 158, 159, 165, 175, 239 P.2d 370.

3. Mentioned; cases involving this act reviewed in construing K.S.A. 42-721. Kansas-Bostwick Irrigation District v. Mizer, 176 Kan. 354, 355, 270 P.2d 261.

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