U.S. Water News Online
DENVER — After more than 30 years, the fight over use of the river flowing through the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is finished.
A state water court in Gunnison has formally adopted an agreement among state and federal officials, water users and conservation groups on rights to the Gunnison River. The agreement is to ensure there's enough water in the canyon to maintain wildlife and a healthy ecosystem while meeting other needs, including irrigation, recreation and hydroelectric power production.
The pact stems from a lawsuit by conservation groups over a 2003 deal by former Interior Secretary Gale Norton and former Colorado Gov. Bill Owens that set minimum flows through the canyon. Conservationists said the flows were inadequate, and a federal judge threw out the pact in 2006.
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