Farmers Seek Payment from State for Diverted Water

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Lincoln, Neb. Four Nebraska farmers are demanding that the state compensate them for irrigation water that was diverted away from their crops to comply with the Republican River Compact.

The farmers allege in a lawsuit that their yields were lower last year because they were denied access to water that should have been stored in nearby dams and canals. Nebraska released the water downstream to Kansas to meet its obligations under the 1943 compact.

Dave Domina, an attorney for the farmers, argues that Nebraska is placing a statewide obligation on the backs of those farmers without reimbursing them for their losses. The farmers are seeking class-action status, which would increase the number of plaintiffs to more than 150.

The Nebraska attorney general's office will likely defend the state against the lawsuit.