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States OK Ute Reservoir Settlement

Oklahoman Published: May 29, 1993

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico and the two other states that share the Canadian River filed a proposed settlement Friday of the lawsuit that began when New Mexico enlarged Ute Reservoir.

The proposed settlement was filed with the U.S. Supreme Court, and its approval is likely since all of the parties and the Canadian River special master have approved it, said New Mexico State Engineer Eluid Martinez.

The settlement requires New Mexico to pay Oklahoma and Texas $200,000 each for legal fees, and to release more water from Ute Reservoir. But Martinez said the "favorable" settlement of the case represents a financial achievement.

"This is a markedly different approach to resolving differences between the states on these rivers, versus litigation," Martinez said.

In 1990, the Supreme Court ordered New Mexico to pay Texas $14 million in damages for holding back Pecos River water that should have flowed downstream to West Texas.

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