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July 2, 2010

Plea for Help! Merrill aquifer selling is drying up wells!

Letter to KBC

Hello, We are east of Merrill and farm mostly in Dodds Hollow. We are "off project" up here and are very concerned for our ground water. My daughter who lives across the street from us had her pump burn up and had to add
40' of column and a new pump because of the drastic drop in the aquifer. Ironically, she and her husband just signed the papers to purchase the property the day before the well failed. We know that our main irrigation well is in jeopardy. We started to suck air in July 5, 2005 when they were running the big wells to the south of us. They shut off one of the wells closest to us and we had water again within 24 hours. We have since lowered our bowls and are at the bottom off the well. The hole is crooked, so if we have to go deeper we will need to drill a new well. Drilling a new well will take time. Our crops are at a crucial period. We would like to prevent a problem before it happens and we lose all water and our crops suffer and are unable to recover.

I would like to know if you can help me. I don't really know who to contact. We would like to know if there is any kind of assistance for private well owners (both domestic and irrigation). We would also like to know if we are eligible for any assistance when we encounter problems with our wells because of the government allowing all the emergency pumping. What we would really like is to shut these wells down. It really seems like a crime to me that the government is actually paying people to pump this ground water. What can we do?? Thanks for any help you can offer us.

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KBC RESPONSE

We're so sorry to hear about your wells! In 2001 we and another person did a survey and found more than 100 wells went dry or disabled from pumping the aquifer! What a nightmare.

We heard there may have been a fund for mitigation of well pumping through KWAPA/Klamath Water and Power Agency. Here is a little info about them on KWUA/Klamath Water Users Association website: http://www.kwua.org/energy/kwapa  It is tied in with KWUA, and also the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement.
Holly Cannon is the director, and I left a message. If you know any of the KWAPA board members:

Holly Cannon, KWAPA director: 541 850 2503
Greg Addington, KWUA director: 541 883 6100

Bill Heiney: 530 664 4444,
Ed Bair, 541 884 1442
John Crawford, 530 667 2736
Dave Cacka, 541 723 5151
Rocky Liskey, 541 798 5789


you could call them.

Perhaps Tom Mallams of off-project might know something.

Thanks for the message. Please let us know what you find out.
 

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