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Klamath Irrigation District opposes river agreement

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. -- John Bodnar said he has concerns with the proposal to remove dams along the Klamath River. As a Klamath Falls resident, he said the dams provide an important resource to the basin.

"There's a lot of people in the Klamath County area or the Klamath Falls area that rely on the water from the dams," Bodnar said. "The dams were also put in for opening up the farm ground on the Lower Klamath Lake."

Bodnar said it could change the way of life for people in Klamath County for years to come.

"(It makes me) concerned for the future of the area," he said. "(It) just kind of makes me wonder what's going to happen. Everything is very slowly changing. We're getting more drought years."

The Klamath Irrigation District provides water within the county. It is also upset with new regulations that said it must replace a major canal.

Lawrence Kogan represents KID and met with the staff of lawmakers and the Bureau of Reclamation in Sacramento on Thursday.

"The KID is unhappy because they were ignored when they sought to meet and confer with the parties," Kogan said.

Kogan said the replacement of the canal could be one of the most expensive projects in the country and he said the district wasn't included in the negotiations.

"This is a very significant repair, or should I say replacement," Kogan said."Because they won't let the district repair it and it is the most expensive replacement in U.S. history on a federal irrigation project."

Kogan said the replacement canal could cost as much as $10 million.

The Bureau of Reclamation has agreed to pay up to $7.45 million so far.




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