Water legislation bill clears Idaho House, heads to Senate

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation to end years of litigation and finalize an agreement involving water rights in heavily populated southwestern Idaho has cleared the House.

House members voted 67-0 on Tuesday to send to the Senate the bill that involves rights to water that refills three reservoirs in the Boise River system following releases to control flooding.

The legislation makes sure those water rights to that refill and accounted for in the new agreement are protected should additional water storage systems of 1,000 acre-feet or more be built on the Boise River system.

Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke of Oakley says the legislation is needed to remove doubt about future water rights.

Should the bill advance and be signed into law by Gov. Brad Little, the agreement would go to the Snake River Basin Adjudication Court for its consideration.

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