Irrigation questions remain after dam removal agreement

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Wednesday’s announcement on dam removal also has a strong impact at the other end of the Klamath River.

Tricia Hill of Gold Dust Potato Processors in Malin is also treasurer for the Klamath Water Users Association. Hill says even if the dams come out, she’s still concerned about water certainty for irrigators, “I’m happy for the parties that they’ve got something that they need for their communities, but I’m concerned and hope that we won’t be forgotten up here.”

Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams says he’s concerned about the financial impact, “We’ll lose about a half a million dollars in tax revenue from the structures themselves.”

A Power and Facilities Agreement calls for fresh discussions on water supply for agriculture. But many farmers are concerned about the lack of specifics.

“We still have problems here,” said Tricia Hill, “and just because the KBRA expired on December 31st doesn’t mean those problems have gone away.”

“We still need a water settlement here,” said Commissioner Mallams, “this still doesn’t fit the bill.”

Pacific Power says the cost of dam removal will be covered by money raised through a surcharge on Oregon power bills, and passage of a bond measure in California.

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