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Nez Perce water rights deal revived in onmibus

A $193 million water rights settlement for the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho was passed by Congress over the weekend after being slipped into the omnibus appropriations.

The deal had been declared all but dead due to an anonymous hold in the Senate. But the hold was lifted, clearing the way for inclusion in the $388 billion appropriations bill.

The agreement ends one of the longest running water rights disputes in the West. The tribe would receive 50,000 acre-feet of water a year for its reservation, a $50 million multiple-use trust fund, a $23 million water supply and sewer system and $7 million worth of land.

The Idaho Legislature and the Nez Perce Tribe still need to give final approval to the deal.

Get the Story:
U.S. Senate OKs Utah water bill (AP 11/22)
Nez Perce water deal progresses, CAFO exemption sputters (The Magic Valley Times-News 11/21)

Consolidated Appropriations Act:
Bill Text | Joint Explanatory Statement | HR 4818

Relevant Links:
Nez Perce Tribe -

Related Stories:
Nez Perce Tribe's water deal killed in Senate (10/27)
Nez Perce Tribe calls for protection of salmon (08/13)
Senate committee takes up Nez Perce water deal (07/21)
Deal proposed to resolve Idaho tribe's water rights (05/17)