By Bob Beck
Washington D-C – The U-S Supreme Court has ruled that Wyoming farmers and ranchers can use better irrigation methods, even though it may take extra water out of the Powder and Tongue Rivers. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the 7-1 decision and said using more efficient irrigation methods at the detriment of downstream water users is permissible. Montana had argued that was a violation of a 1950 agreement between the states. Wyoming Deputy Attorney General Pete Michael says it was an important victory for the state.
"For us to prevail and for the court to agree that Wyoming farmers and ranchers could be better farmers and ranchers, can be more efficient with their water use, we feel that has a significant impact on Wyoming farmers and ranchers. "
Michael says the ruling also defines what producers can do during drought years.