Colorado to ‘aggressively assert’ water rights with Nebraska
Colorado has warned it will "protect and aggressively assert" its water rights after Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts announced a plan to spend $500 million on a canal and reservoir project that includes claiming access to land in Colorado under a 99-year-old compact between the states.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis says he will work with Nebraska but wants to learn more details about what the state has planned.
His comments came as Ricketts released a proposed state budget Thursday detailing how he intends to fund the project. Ricketts and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson announced the water plan after Colorado released a report that identified new water projects within the South Platte River Basin.
Ricketts has said Nebraska would invoke its rights under the South Platte River Compact amid concerns that Colorado’s plans for the river could reduce water flows into his state by as much as 90%, taking a potentially huge toll on Nebraska’s agricultural and power industries and likely affecting water supplies in the state’s two largest cities, Omaha and Lincoln.