Lake DeSmet Water Rights Bill Shot Down In Senate

Lake DeSmet

House Bill No. 118, the bill that would allow the negotiations for the state to purchase water rights in Lake DeSmet has gone down to defeat in the Wyoming Senate.

The vote happened Wednesday at the third reading of the bill, with 14 votes for and 14 votes against it. Two senators were excused from the vote due to absence, according to State Representative Mike Madden.

Madden said he was disappointed with the vote in the Senate, considering the bill passed on a unanimous 60-0 vote in the House before being sent to the other chamber, and he explained further.

The bill would have allowed the Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) to negotiate a purchase agreement with Sasol Synfuels to purchase 62,000 acre-feet of water rights and other assets at Lake DeSmet and Healy Reservoir in Johnson County.
The bill would not have authorized the purchase of the water rights and assets, but allowed the negotiation of a purchase agreement with Sasol Synfuels, that would then have required the approval of the WWDC, the full legislature and the governor.

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