Nebraska governor to sue Colorado over domineering water supply
Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is planning to use the famous domain to build a canal outside the South Plate River to acquire land in Colorado, claiming the 99-year-old agreement allows him to do so.
The two states signed the South Plate River Compact in April 1923, granting each other various rights in relation to the river. In an interview with Fox News Digital, Ricketts said about 300 projects Colorado has announced over the years for the South Plate River Basin pose a threat to Nebraska’s water supply.
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“Nebraska’s producers – our farmers and pastoralists – are feeding the world. And after our people, water is Nebraska’s largest natural resource,” Ricketts said. 90% and it will have a dramatic effect on our state. “
Until Nebraska takes Colorado land to build its canal Compact Allows each state to use a known domain for a specific reason. For Nebraska, the agreement says it could build and operate a canal to divert water from the river to irrigate Nebraska’s land in Colorado.
“Colorado agrees that Nebraska and its citizens may subsequently build, maintain, and operate such a canal, and may thereby grant the use of water from the South Plate River in Colorado to Nebraska, as provided in this article, and at that time. Nebraska and Its citizens have the right to acquire the right-of-way, ease or purchase of land, prescription or exercise of famous domain required for construction, maintenance and operation of this canal, ”says Compact.
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Ricketts believes the provision covers its canal, which he believes is necessary because of Colorado’s plans, which he fears will hurt not only Nebraska’s industry, but also the water supply to the state’s two largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln.
Ricketts said construction of the canal first began in 1894, but was halted due to lack of funding. The new canal will cost about $ 500 million. Ricketts has not yet said where the money will come from to fund it, but he is annoyed that the details will come in Thursday’s State of the State address.
Ricketts said he has not heard from Colorado Governor Jared Police since he announced his plans for the canal. The police office, however, indicated that it was against him.
A police spokesman told Fox News in a statement that “the governor was informed of the situation early Tuesday morning, and we are working to understand it better, including a legal and operational analysis,” a police spokesman told Fox News. Said in a statement. “Government police will continue to fight for Colorado’s water rights and interests in interstate compacts and oppose the diversion of precious water resources from Colorado.”
Later, police released a new statement reiterating their desire to “defend Colorado’s rights and aggressively sue” and claim that “Colorado has been in full compliance with the South Plate Compact for 99 years.
Police insisted Colorado was not blocking water from Nebraska, which was discussed in plans that “should not be taken as formally approved projects that will be implemented,” and that any plans that would be implemented would be subject to major negotiations, including Nebraska. ”
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“We hope to fully understand Nebraska’s concerns and goals, as so far it has been very difficult to understand those concerns and goals,” police said. “Our long-standing observance and respect for the water agreement between our states on the South Plate River is intact, and we hope that our partners in Nebraska will show that they hold this honor.”
“Colorado and Nebraska have long worked together on our interstate water issues as Colorado enjoys privileged status as a headwater state,” police added. However, any actual proposed project by Nebraska in Colorado will receive rigorous review to ensure that it compact, comply with private property rights, Colorado water laws and state and federal environmental obligations, as endangered species issues are a matter of serious concern, among others. South Plate River. I look forward to productive dialogue with Governor Ricketts on important issues of water development and the conservation of our natural resources in both Colorado and Nebraska. ”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.