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State Issues Winter Water Rights Call for North Platte Communities

North Platte River
Karen Snyder, K2 Radio

State engineers have issued a call on the administration of water rights for many Wyoming communities situated along or near the North Platte River, citing persisting drought conditions, a lack of mountain snowpack and a general lack of available water.

It is the first winter water rights call since 2005.

Peter Meyers, the assistant to the city manager of Casper, says the call shouldn’t have an immediate impact on Casper’s water supply.

“The practical impact? It’s probably too early to be certain, and we’ll be monitoring things as we go ahead,” Meyers said. “Casper does have a wide variety of water rights and we don’t expect this to have a particular impact yet, but it’s something that we’re going to have to be aware of.”

State hydrologists say, as of Thursday, water and mountain snowpack is roughly 60 percent of normal.

Casper and 15 other communities in southeastern and central Wyoming will be affected by the call.

According to a report from the Associated Press, towns and cities with older water rights will have primary access to the North Platte’s water. Towns and cities with younger water rights may have to make arrangements with senior rights holders.

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