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Klamath County judge denies water requests; shutoffs to continue

Herald and News 7/16/13

Water shutoffs and enforcement of adjudication will continue. A Klamath County judge today denied requests to stop the enforcement of first-in-time, first-in-right water law.

Judge Cameron Wogan Issued his decision on two of four requests for stay requests to stop enforcement of water shutoffs in the upper Klamath Basin. He denied the two because if allowed, they would have superseded the senior claims by the Klamath Tribes and Klamath Project irrigators.

"Contrary to law, they would elevate petitioners over everyone so they would be the only ones to get extra water if downstream rights are curtailed as they request," Wogan wrote in a letter published online this morning.
A third request is still in limbo. If a stay were granted, those asking for the stay would have to pay damages resulting from the water law not being enforced. Wogan asked the attorney in the third case if his clients still want to pursue a stay even if the bond amount could not be capped. If a stay happened, it could last five to 10 years while adjudication is concluded in circuit court, Wogan's letter said.
Wogan did not make a ruling on a fourth case, as it still needs to file briefs and have oral arguments on July 24.
More on this story in Wednesday's print and online editions of the Herald and News.



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