Gov. Little signs bill ending years of water rights litigation

Posted at 9:51 AM, Feb 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-13 11:52:44-05

BOISE — Gov. Brad Little signed into law Wednesday legislation to end years of litigation -- and help finalize a settlement agreement -- involving water rights in heavily-populated southwestern Idaho.

Little signed House Bill 1, which made it through the Senate and House with unanimous support.

The lawsuits involved canal companies, irrigation districts and the state of Idaho -- and concerned the storage of water in three Boise River system reservoirs during flood control operations.

The legislation makes sure rights to water that refills the Boise River system following flood control releases are protected, should additional large water storage systems be built.

The entities reached the agreement last year, but that agreement only works with the new law in place.

The next step in the process is for the Snake River Basin Adjudication Court to consider water rights to the refill.

(by Keith Ridler, Associated Press)