Latest Water rights News

Interior Secretary signs Montana tribes water rights compact

Sep. 17, 2021 15:07 PM EDT

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes water rights compact on Friday, settling a decades-long battle over thousands of individual water rights in Montana and on the Flathead Indian Reservation. The deal also created a $1.9...

Drought haves, have-nots test how to share water in the West

Sep. 16, 2021 10:04 AM EDT

MADRAS, Ore. (AP) — Phil Fine stands in a parched field and watches a harvester gnaw through his carrot seed crop, spitting clouds of dust in its wake. Cracked dirt lines empty irrigation canals, and dust devils and tumbleweeds punctuate a landscape in shades of brown. ...

Drought drying Carson River hits Nevada pastures, ranchers

Sep. 12, 2021 11:53 AM EDT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Sixth-generation rancher Devere Dressler remembers seeing the Carson River teeming with fish as it flowed out of the eastern Sierra Nevada range, where the peaks were always capped with snow. Now, as the impacts of severe drought are felt across the...

Booming Colo. town asks, ‘Where will water come from?’

Aug. 19, 2021 11:42 AM EDT

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — "Go West, young man,'' Horace Greeley famously urged. The problem for the northern Colorado town that bears the 19th-century newspaper editor's name: Too many people have heeded his advice. By the tens of thousands newcomers...

First water cuts in US West supply to hammer Arizona farmers

Aug. 12, 2021 01:07 AM EDT

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) — A harvester rumbles through the fields in the early morning light, mowing down rows of corn and chopping up ears, husks and stalks into mulch for feed at a local dairy. The cows won't get their salad next year, at least not from this farm....

Drought prompts California to halt some water diversions

Aug. 04, 2021 00:48 AM EDT

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Some farmers in one of the country's most important agricultural regions will have to stop taking water out of major rivers and streams because of a severe drought that is threatening the drinking water supply for 25 million people, state regulators said Tuesday. ...

Cannabis industry in New Mexico faces big challenge of water

Jul. 24, 2021 14:48 PM EDT

MADRID, N.M. (AP) — Where some see desert, Cid and Medina Isbell see opportunity. Standing on a plot on their 30-acre property just north of Madrid, they envision a greenhouse full of cannabis plants where brush, sunflowers and cactuses now grow. ...

Nevada water rights official's acting role becomes permanent

Jul. 20, 2021 18:18 PM EDT

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The acting Nevada state administrator of water resources and and policy now has the position permanently. Adam Sullivan was named Tuesday as state engineer in the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. ...

Water crisis reaches boiling point on Oregon-California line

Jul. 02, 2021 15:30 PM EDT

TULELAKE, Calif. (AP) — Ben DuVal knelt in a barren field near the California-Oregon state line and scooped up a handful of parched soil as dust devils whirled around him and birds flitted between empty irrigation pipes. DuVal’s family has farmed the land for three...

Drought forces Grand Junction to dip into Colorado River

Jul. 02, 2021 14:26 PM EDT

DENVER (AP) — For 65 years, the Ute Water Conservancy District serving Grand Junction and Mesa County has let the Colorado River flow on by, while drawing drinking water from pristine runoff 11,000 feet high on Grand Mesa. The severe, ongoing drought has now forced...