Supreme Court Weighs Fee Dispute Over Water Rights

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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Colorado and Kansas are asking the Supreme Court to consider the issue of legal costs in their centurylong feud over water rights to the Arkansas River.

Colorado already has agreed to pay its neighbor to the east morethan $34 million. That came after the high court decided in 1995 that groundwater pumping in Colorado diverted millions of gallons of upstream water that rightfully belonged to Kansas.

But Kansas Attorney General Stephen Six wants Colorado to pay an additional $9 million in expert witness fees. Six urged the justices to overturn a special master's ruling that limited witness fees to about $163,000.

At issue is whether the proceedings are covered by a federal law that allows reimbursement of just $40 per day for expert witnesses in a typical court proceeding.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)