Water rights weekly report for May 15. For much more news, links and detail, see the National Water Rights Digest.
Oklahoma state is facing a budget deficit. Should it sell some of its waster rights to thirsty Texas to help balance the books? The idea is coming up for discussion again partly because of proposals by former Oklahoma Governor David Walters.
A new study finds that when it comes to allocating water from the Upper Deschutes River for irrigation purposes, less is more. Findings indicate that the current system encourages inefficient use of water by senior water rights holders and very efficient use of water by junior water rights holders, resulting in higher crop yields and economic value on farms that have implemented practices to improve water use efficiency.
The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army sent a letter to governors today soliciting input from states on a new definition of protected waters that is in-line with a Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in the 2006 Rapanos v. United States case. Scalia’s definition explains that federal oversight should extend to “relatively permanent” waters and wetlands with a “continuous surface connection” to large rivers and streams.
The governing board of trustees of the College of Southern Idaho at Twin Falls decided May 9 to buy water rights to Pristine Springs, a nearby geothermal aquifer.