Nebraska, Colorado Square Off in Fight Over South Platte River Water

Billions of dollars of water development are at stake as Colorado and Nebraska battle for control of more South Platter River water.

January 19, 2022, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


South Platte River surrounded by apartments and office buildings at Shoemaker Plaza in Confluence Park. Denver, Colorado

The South Platte River at Shoemaker Plaza in Confluence Park in Denver, Colorado. | jenlo8 / Shutterstock

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts last week announced a plan to spend $500 million on a canal and reservoir project to "ensure Nebraska's continued access to South Platte River water flowing into the state from Colorado," reports Don Walton for the Hastings Tribune.

A message from Gov. Ricketts, sent on January 11, explains more of the reasoning behind the project, premised primarily over concerns about the state of Colorado's plans for "300 projects and over $10 billion of expenditures to ensure no 'excess' water leaves its state."

Saying that Colorado's plans threaten to "choke off the flow of water into Nebraska," the governor cites the South Platte River Compact as justification for his plans to build a new canal to the South Platte.

But as reported by the Associated Press, the governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, sees Nebraska's plans as a threat to Colorado's water, and has promised to "protect and aggressively assert Colorado’s rights under all existing water compacts."

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 in Hastings Tribune

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