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Feds want to fix canal, but Nevada town lives off the leaks

Irrigation Canal Nevada Lawsuit
Irrigation Canal Nevada Lawsuit
Posted at 12:28 PM, Mar 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 18:39:42-04

FERNLEY (AP) — A rural Nevada town founded a century ago by pioneers lured to the West by the promise of free land and cheap water is suing the U.S. government over the way it plans to renovate a 115-year-old earthen irrigation canal.

The canal in Fernley burst in 2008 and flooded 600 homes.

The Bureau of Reclamation wants to line part of it with concrete because it's leaking and wasting taxpayers' money.

But the city of Fernley says it's been using that extra water to fill domestic wells for decades.

It says it established water rights long ago and the government has never objected before.