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Nampa & Meridian Irrigation Dist. v. Bond, 268 U.S. 50 (1925)

Nampa & Meridian Irrigation District v. Bond

No. 135

Argued March 6, 1925

Decided April 13, 1925

268 U.S. 50


1. When an irrigation system has been completed under the Reclamation Act, subsequent construction of a drainage system to remove injurious consequences of its normal operation on the lands included is chargeable to maintenance and operation, rather than to construction, and § 4 of the Reclamation Extension Act, preventing increase of construction charges when once fixed except by agreement between the Secretary of the Interior and a majority of water right applicants and entrymen affected does not apply. P. 268 U. S. 53.

2. This is consistent with attributing to construction the cost of drainage provided for in the original plan, because the need for it was existent or foreseen. P. 268 U. S. 54.

3. Where lands of an Idaho irrigation district were included in a. federal reclamation project under a contract obliging the government to furnish water and construct drainage works within the district, which was done and the cost assessed as a construction

Page 268 U. S. 51

charge against all the project water users, the district agreeing that the project lands in the district should pay the same operation and maintenance charge per acre as announced by the Secretary of the Interior for similar lands of the project, held that the project lands within the district were liable with the other project lands to bear, as an operation and maintenance charge, the cost of providing drainage for project lands outside the district which were being ruined by seepage water from the operation of the irrigation system. P. 268 U. S. 53.

283 F. 569, 288 id. 541, affirmed.

Appeal from a decree of the circuit court of appeals affirming a decree of the district court which dismissed a bill by which the irrigation district sought to enjoin an official of the Federal Reclamation Service and a water users' association from withholding water from lands within the district for nonpayment of maintenance and operation charges.

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