A groundwater management district has the ability to assess a water use charge against landowners within a district or authorized users of a water right. K.S.A. 82a-1030(a) allows the district to impose the charge based on “groundwater withdrawn within the district or allocated by the water right.” The cap on the amount the district can assess is further defined in the statute. Otherwise, a district is free to choose the assessment amount and this is often a very political decision.
A groundwater district can even assess a separate charge based simply on land owned within the district. These special assessments are then treated in a manner similar to a property tax. A landowner may seek a verified claim to try and seek abatement of the charges under certain circumstances. These verified claims must be submitted by April 1 and each district may utilize a special form for this request.