Vote reveals Klamath ranchers/farmers want water even if it complicates federal aid

KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. — Southern Oregon ranchers and farmers are weighing in on federal drought funding.

An official election ballot was sent out by the Klamath Irrigation District.

It asks, “Pursuant to both our federal contract obligations and state water rights, do you patrons want the district to attempt to deliver water to you knowing it will likely complicate federal drought funding?”

Gene Souza, the head of the Klamath Irrigation District says out of 377 votes, 319 votes were yes. That’s just under 85%. He says pushing the envelope for water deliveries, puts a risk on any federal funding, that could become available this year.

“This kinda tells me a little bit better about the voting population of the people within the district that let their voice be heard, it’s a fairly resounding yes they would like us to be more in that realm, kinda bend to intimidation, threats, coercion from outside forces,” said Souza.

The Bureau of Reclamation has not yet announced the amount of water that will be delivered to farmers.

Souza believes that could be announced on Monday.

NBC5 News Reporter Jenna King is a Burbank native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at the U of O, she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through interning with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors, or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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