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United States v. Northern Colo. Water Conservancy Dist.

Citation: 2 ELR 20024
No. Nos. 323-70, 324-70, 449 F.2d 1/(10th Cir., 09/09/1971)

The United States brought this action in 1949 to quiet its title to waters impounded by the Colorado-Big Thompson Project and to establish its obligations under a Congressional mandate requiring provision of adequate irrigation for lands adversely affected by the Project. Yust and other landowners intervened seeking damages for the taking of their property rights in the water which they had depended upon to flood their meadowlands each spring. As to certain of the landowners, the issues were settled in United States v. Martin, 267 F.2d 764 (10th Cir. 1959). Yust amended his claim in order to seek relief under the Tucker Act (28 U.S.C. § 1346). The Court held that since the United States had failed to provide an adequate alternative source of water (despite expenditures of some $100,000) a constitutionally implied contract to compensate Yust arose within the meaning of the Tucker Act. Yust's motion to amend his complaint and transfer the case to the Court of Claims was properly denied because of excessive delay on his part.

Counsel for Intervenor
Willis V. Carpenter
518 17th Street
Denver, Colorado 80202

Counsel for United States
Edmund B. Clark Attorney, Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20530

Before Hill and McWilliams, Circuit Judges, and Bratton, District Judge.