Klamath Project farmers hope for relief from U.S. Senate bill

Klamath Falls, Ore. – A bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate could benefit farmers on the Klamath Project.

Those farmers have watched their electric bills skyrocket by more than 2000% over the past decade.

Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director Scott White says a provision of Senate Bill 1460 could help to lower those costs.  “We’re looking for basically some of the same benefits that other reclamation projects get from a power standpoint.”

White adds that passage of the bill could also help chip away at the $10,000,000 cost of replacing a 100 year old elevated canal.  “Emergency and extraordinary operation and maintenance for the ‘C’ flume construction that’s currently underway.”

This isn’t the first time the funding requests have been made.

“This is very much akin to the bill that was introduced last year, and passed overwhelmingly in the Senate.”  Notes White.  “And then failed at the end of the year.”

Irrigators are hoping for a better outcome this time to help ease narrowing profit margins, and limited water supplies.

“To make sure that every drop is going where it needs to be, and everybody is using water as beneficially as possible.”  Stated Scott White.

The bill was introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Maria Cantwell of Washington.

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