Ricketts signs bill for construction of Perkins County Canal to protect water rights

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed a bill that allows the state to build a $500 million canal and reservoir system to protect water resources for farmers and ranchers.

He says the Perkins County Canal will ensure that water flows from the South Platte River are maintained under a pact signed with Colorado in 1923.  “This is not about getting more water for the state of Nebraska. This is merely about making sure we can have legal title or legal claim to the water that we are already getting.”

Ricketts says Colorado is using more water than agreed to by issuing nearly 300 projects in the state’s Front Range that require water from the river.

LB 1015 authorizes the state to build the water system as agreed to and officials expect the project to be completed in 8-10 years.

The 1923 South Platte River Compact between Nebraska and Colorado provides for a flow of 120 cubic feet per second during the irrigation season and allows Nebraska to divert 500 cfs during the non-irrigated season.

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