Irrigators to get new day in court

The Eighth U-S Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling today┬ásaying a U-S District Court judge shouldn’t have dismissed a Nebraska water case. Growers who irrigate along Nebraska’s Niobrara River will have another day in court and another chance to convince a judge the state was wrong to tell them to shut down their pumps two years ago.
The original lawsuit was prompted by the Nebraska Public Power District’s demand that irrigators with water rights junior to N-P-P-D pay the utility for using water — or stop using it. The district uses the water from the river to produce power at Spencer Dam.
The Nebraska Department of Natural Resources lifted the order against irrigators but left it hanging that such an order could be issued again at a future date.