Latest Water rights News

Colorado, Nebraska jostle over water rights amid drought

May. 18, 2022 08:08 AM EDT

OVID, Colo. (AP) — Shortly after daybreak on the high plains of northeastern Colorado, Don Schneider tinkers with seed-dispensing gear on a mammoth corn planter. The day’s task: Carefully sowing hundreds of acres of seed between long rows of last year’s desiccated stalks to ensure the...

Drought declaration issued for 34 of Idaho's 44 counties

Apr. 29, 2022 18:01 PM EDT

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Friday approved an emergency drought declaration for 34 of Idaho’s 44 counties. The Republican governor signed off on the emergency drought declaration issued on Thursday by Idaho Department of Water Resources Director Gary Spackman....

Brown declares drought emergency in 4 more Oregon counties

Apr. 26, 2022 19:15 PM EDT

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared a drought emergency in four more counties this week and now more than half the land area in the state is under a drought declaration. The emergency declarations allow people who use water to seek temporary relief measures, such as...

Nebraska law will advance proposed Colorado canal project

Apr. 18, 2022 15:32 PM EDT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a law Monday that will allow the state to move forward with plans to build a canal in Colorado to divert water out of the South Platte River because of fears about Colorado's increased water use. Ricketts proposed the canal...

Southwest Colorado farmers punished by drought

Apr. 09, 2022 10:11 AM EDT

PLEASANT VIEW, Colo. (AP) — With his hands stuffed deep into his pockets, Landan Wilson looks down at the ground and scuffs his boot back and forth against the loose blades of alfalfa hay scattered on the dirt. It’s early March, and Wilson is standing inside a massive storage...

Ecology fines Skagit Valley Farm over illegal irrigating

Apr. 06, 2022 08:21 AM EDT

SEDRO-WOOLLEY, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Department of Ecology has fined Skagit Valley Farm $267,000 for irrigating 348 acres without having water rights. The crops unlawfully irrigated in 2021 were in the lower Skagit and Samish watersheds, according to a news release from...

New Mexico launches cannabis sales within Texans' reach

Apr. 01, 2022 19:43 PM EDT

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico brought recreational marijuana sales to the doorstep of Texas, the largest prohibition state, as the movement toward broad legalization sweeps up even more of the American West. Anyone 21 and older can purchase up to 2 ounces (57 grams) of marijuana...

California plan would pay farmers to grow less to save water

Mar. 29, 2022 19:50 PM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would pay farmers not to plant thousands of acres of land as part of a $2.9 billion plan announced Tuesday aimed at letting more water flow through the state's major rivers and streams to help restore the unique habitat in one of North America's largest...

Jackson 5th Oregon county to declare drought emergency

Mar. 25, 2022 11:45 AM EDT

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Low water storage and snowpack levels in southern Oregon have prompted a fifth Oregon county to declare a drought emergency. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports Jackson County commissioners made the drought declaration on Wednesday. It follows declarations by...

Utah population growth, drought provoke groundwater fight

Mar. 19, 2022 12:17 PM EDT

BEAVER COUNTY, Utah (AP) — Mark Wintch relies on a spring to run his ranching and farming operation in a remote section of Utah’s Beaver County in a place called Wah Wah Valley. The spring feeds his hydroelectric plant that supplies energy to his home and irrigation pivots on...