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KWUA News Release: California Public Utilities Commission Order
April 13, 2006

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Today the California Public Utilities Commission adopted the recommendation of an administrative law judge to provide a 4-year rate mitigation schedule to Klamath Project irrigators in California.

The ruling comes just days before the expiration of a 50-year contract between the Department of Interior and PacifiCorp. In their ruling Commissioners noted the work and collaboration between PacifiCorp and the Irrigators in coming to this agreement.

The Water Users are pleased that the Commission recognized the need to preserve the value that the Klamath Project has for the public good. It allows for continued pumping for irrigation, drainage and allows farmers to continue to economically provide water to two of the nationís premier National Wildlife Refuges, Tule Lake and Lower Klamath.

Without a decision, California Project irrigators would have been facing rate increases ranging up to 2600% this irrigation season. As it stands, the ruling will result in power rate increases between 300% and 800% in year one.

"This keeps us from falling of the cliff this season", said Scott Seus, a Tulelake farmer and chairman of the Klamath Water Users (KWUA) Power Committee. "This makes it a manageable situation and buys us time to make our case for what our long-term rate should be."

The General Rate Case for California is scheduled to start later this summer and wonít conclude until the end of the year. KWUA will now have the opportunity to make its case to Commissioners in California, that because of the unique nature of the Klamath Project, irrigators are entitled to a credit for the value they provide the utility company.

Greg Addington, Executive Director of KWUA said, "50 years ago the power company and the PUC recognized the benefit that this irrigation project had for ratepayers. Not much has changed and we plan to show that that benefit still exists today."

Klamath Project irrigators are engaged in productive discussions with a variety of stakeholders regarding hydro power re-licensing issues and are optimistic about the direction of those discussions.

KWUA Mission Statement

To preserve, protect and defend the water and power rights of the landowners of the Klamath Basin, while promoting wise management of ecosystem resources
 

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