Klamath Falls, Ore. - A senate bill has been introduced, aimed at solving water conflicts in the Klamath Basin...but the legislation isn't without opposition.
Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced the legislation Wednesday.
The legislation is based on 3 agreements that are intended to be taken as a whole: The first includes the KBRA, focusing on water use on the Klamath Project. The KHSA, which focuses on the removal of 4 dams from the Klamath River, and an off-project agreement, focusing on water use above Upper Klamath Lake.
Greg Addington of the Klamath Water Users Association believes the bill can restore some water supply certainty to farmers, even in dry years...
"We think it can give us stability, and put us on solid footing."
Klamath County Commissioner, and irrigator Tom Mallams disagrees...
"The KBRA and dam removal needs to be separated out, and it's not - it's a part of it."
In 2010, Siskiyou County voted against dam removal by a 4 to 1 margin...and Klamath Tribal members are divided over the off-project agreement.
Despite the opposition, Addington believes the bill is still the best available alternative...
"I know that if you don't have a bill, you don't have a chance."
The bill would authorize about half a billion dollars to help meet the goals of the agreements.
The bill now heads to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, of which Senator Wyden is a member.
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