Audubon lawsuit over Quivira Wildlife Refuge water dismissed

October 20, 2021 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed by Audubon of Kansas over water rights at the Quivira Wildlife Refuge in central Kansas.

Audubon sued the U.S. Department of Interior and other federal and state agencies in January, alleging they had not protected senior water rights at the 22,135-acre refuge near the town of Stafford.

U.S. District Judge Holly Teeter ruled Audubon did not have proven it had jurisdiction to file the claim against state entities in federal court. She also ruled Audubon had not identified any action that would allow it to sue federal agencies.

Quivera has suffered from a water shortage because of groundwater pumping upstream in the Rattlesnake Creek basin by irrigators, who the lawsuit contended had junior water rights than the refuge.