Undercurrents: beneath the obvious

February 9, 2007

Another front in the water wars breaking out across the Northern Plains

Another front in the water wars breaking out across the Northern Plains:

As the worst dry spell since the 1930s shows no signs of abating, many states are squabbling with each other and federal officials.

Nebraska and Kansas are wrangling for control of irrigation water from the Republican River. South Dakota has demanded that the Army Corps of Engineers stop drawing down reservoirs in the state because it is hurting recreational fishing. Barge companies along the Missouri River in Iowa are demanding the Corps release more water so their vessels can operate.

And Wyoming and Montana are fighting two more water battles in the Tongue and Powder river basins. Montana officials claim Wyoming is diverting too much water from the rivers before they cross the state line, sparking a U.S. Supreme Court lawsuit.

Check out the Drought Monitor for more information about the drought conditions in the northern plains.

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