Colorado to pay Nebraska $4 million for overuse of Republican River water

    Governors and Attorneys General of Nebraska and Colorado announced a settlement of claims last Thursday regarding Colorado’s past use of water under the Republican River Compact.
    Under the agreement, Colorado will pay Nebraska $4 milion for its overuses.
    The new agreement between the states was signed by Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska and Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado Jan. 31.
    The agreement builds upon the states’ recent collaborative water management efforts and approval of detailed interstate compact accounting procedures of water in the Republican River Basin.
    While the states are currently in compliance with the terms of the compact, this settlement resolves potential claims related to alleged past violations.
    The two-page settlement, in which Colorado does not admit violating the compact, sets forth the following provisions:
    • Avoids any future litigation on these matters, by forever barring Nebraska from bringing claims against Colorado for violation of the Compact and the prior 2002 Final Settlement Stipulation for the accounting period ending on or prior to December 31, 2013;  
    • Subject to appropriation by the Colorado Legislature, provides a negotiated payment of $4 million to the State of Nebraska;

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