U.S. Supreme Court
Supreme Court Rules for Wyoming in Water Dispute Flowing from Better Irrigation
Posted May 2, 2011 10:05 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The U.S. Supreme Court has sided with Wyoming in a water dispute with Montana.
The court ruled Wyoming did not violate a 1950 agreement governing water usage from the Tongue and Powder rivers, the Associated Press reports. Montana had claimed that because of better irrigation systems, Wyoming was reducing the amount of wastewater returned to the river system and therefore using more water.
The 7-1 ruling (PDF) agreed with a special master who found that Wyoming did not violate the agreement, as long as it waters the same acreage as it did in 1950. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion, and Justice Antonin Scalia dissented.