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Utah Proposes New Agency to Assert Its Colorado River Rights

Feb. 5, 2021, 5:04 PM

Legislative leaders in Utah are proposing a new $9 million water agency to assert its claims to the Colorado River, increasing the potential for conflict with the six other states in the drought-stressed basin.

A legislative committee late Thursday approved a bill (H.B. 297)—sponsored by House Speaker Brad Wilson (R) and Senate President Stuart Adams (R)—that would create the Colorado River Authority.

Wilson said the agency would “strengthen our position to use our water.” But environmentalists said it would create a “shadowy” group that would enjoy undue exemptions from Utah open meeting and conflict-of-interest requirements and propagate a ...