Water decisions are not making any sense
by Tom Mallams, Beatty, Letter
to the Editor of Herald and News 2/17/17
Feb. 8, Oregon Water Resources Department, OWRD, issued a
post card to our farm/ranch lifting water restriction in
areas of the Upper Klamath Basin.
irony of this is so obvious. The rivers are at flood stage
or very near it, and OWRD finally lifts the tribal call on
attached notice indicates, “This applies to all uses on the
listed water right, including stock water, and domestic.”
includes surface water, (rivers, creeks and springs), and
ground water, (wells). Most all of the rights list
irrigation as a listed use.
guess this means those affected are now allowed to irrigate
other words, irrigators, go forward, start your pumps and
irrigate your crops, that is, if you can find them under all
the flood water. Timing is everything.
is further evidence of how one-sided and damaging the
Klamath Adjudication is.
local court still has the final say whether the state’s
“Administrative Law Judge” was correct in setting such high,
required instream flows. (The Administrative Law Judge is
not, in fact, a “real” Judge.
more recently, a judge ordered the Bureau of Reclamation to
“flush” additional amounts of water, out of Klamath Lake,
down the Klamath River to help coho salmon. This was
implemented as some downstream roads were already under
water. At the last minute, this amount of extra water was
reduced, only because of phone calls from downstream
residents and representatives from Congressman Doug
example is just another case that defies all logic. A single
judge and our federal government send extra water down the
Klamath River for fish in the middle of a flood. You would
certainly think a flood event would contain enough water for
any fish needs, including flush or pulse flows.
absolutely necessary that logic and true science drive the
decisions critical to the survival of our local economies.
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