Colorado, Nebraska jostle over water rights amid drought

OVID, Colo. (AP) — The megadrought fueled by climate change that has long gripped the western U.S. is moving eastward. And that’s behind a simmering dispute over how much water Colorado and Nebraska are entitled to take from the South Platte River, which supplies both metro Denver’s booming population and expansive agriculture on both sides of the border.

Nebraska stunned Colorado when it said it wants to invoke an old compact that allows it to seize Colorado land and build a canal to divert water from the river.

Nebraska’s plan underscores an increasing appetite throughout the West to preemptively secure water as the drought persists.

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