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Senators Maneuver for Missouri River Water


Washington – A U.S. Senate panel Tuesday set back efforts to hold more Missouri River water in up-stream reservoirs at the expense of barge shipping down-river in Missouri.

Drought has plunged levels to record lows at reservoirs in Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted last week to halt releases from the reservoirs, which would end barge shipping.

But today the panel essentially reversed itself. Missouri Republican Kit Bond inserted a measure into another funding bill, which would deny money for the drought conservation measure.

Bond says if the water is held up-stream farmers would face higher costs and shipping delays.

The full Senate must approve committee actions. So lawmakers expect another showdown.