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Irrigators may get their water as judge mulls altering injunction

Herald and News April 20, 2018

A U.S. district court judge is leaning toward giving the Klamath Basin Project irrigators the water they are seeking for the farming season.

Judge William Orrick of San Francisco issued an order Thursday seeking more documentation from both parties in a lawsuit over the release of water down the Klamath River to protect endangered fish.

Orrick wrote that given new data, "I am inclined to issue an indicative ruling that modification of the injunction is necessary. Among the modifications would be a provision that allows the parties to move in the district court to modify the injunction to the extent that there are new developments in the best available science or if certain conditions and hydrology require."

He's asked all sides to submit supplemental briefings no later than next Thursday.

The Bureau of Reclamation was to start charging canals on Thursday  and to deliver water to Klamath Project irrigators by late April, pending court action.

Reclamation filed a proposed Klamath Project Operations plan a few weeks ago in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to allocate 252,000 acre feet for Project irrigators, which is 65 percent of a normal allocation of 390,000 acre feet of water.

The court filing, as well as the motion by Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) filed March 9, would need to be approved to release water deliveries to the Basin irrigators.

A hearing before Orrick was held April 11.

More details will follow with reactions as this story is updated on the H&N website. The court order is attached here.

Judge Orrick Request for Supplemental Briefing 4/19/18




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