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Idaho water legislation bill clears Senate committee

Posted: 4:25 PM, Jan 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-30 18:25:13-05

BOISE — Legislation to end years of litigation involving water rights in heavily populated southwestern Idaho has cleared another hurdle.

Lawmakers on the Senate Resources and Environment Committee on Wednesday voted 9-0 to send the bill -- presented by Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley -- to the full Senate for a vote.

The legislation has already cleared the House.

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 agreement between the entities, made last summer, involves water rights to water that refills the reservoirs following flood control releases.

The legislation makes sure water rights to that refill are protected, should additional large water storage systems be built on the Boise River system.

(by Keith Ridler, Associated Press)