Amodei pushes Water Rights Protection Act
Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., and Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., introduced the Water Rights Protection Act to protect privately held water rights from federal takings and uphold long-standing state water law.
Reps. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, Tom McClintock, R-Calif., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., are original co-sponsors.
The representatives say the U.S. Forest Service is pushing the federal government’s latest attempt to disregard state law and take private water rights, despite objections from elected officials, business owners, private-property advocates and a U.S. District Court ruling.
The bill is aimed at protecting those who rely on privately held water rights for their livelihood.
It would prohibit federal agencies from confiscating water rights through the use of permits, leases and other land-management arrangements.
The Water Rights Protection Act would, according to a release from Amodei’s office:
• Prohibit agencies from implementing a permit condition that requires the transfer of privately held water rights to the federal government in order to receive or renew a permit for the use of land.
• Prohibit the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture from imposing other conditions that require the transfer of water rights.
• Uphold long-standing federal deference to state water law.
• Have no cost to taxpayers.