MO River Summit Being Held Today in S.D.
By Maria Hickey, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – Several governors will attend a summit Monday in South Dakota over this year's plans for the Missouri River.
Gov. Matt Blunt was invited but had a scheduling conflict. Ron Kucera - the deputy director of policy at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources - will go in the governor's place.
Kucera says the states have been in a dispute over the river for nearly 14 years and not much is expected to change at the summit: "We want to make sure that we have representative up there since there will be several governors there from up-stream states in the Missouri River basin and we have controversial issues over water management that has puts the states in court, so we feel we need to be there."
South Dakota's governor, Mike Rounds, wants the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to change its plans and send less water down the river this summer. That state wants more water kept upstream for a variety of uses, including to offset the effects of a drought.
But DNR's Kucera says Missouri needs more water than the Corps is planning to send to keep power plants and barge transportation running smoothly.
"We're really not interested in giving away more water than already has been taken from us," Kucera added.