Klamath River Compact Commission boosts
Herald and News by Holly
River Compact Commission, which oversees a guiding document
governing water uses in the Klamath River, has met three
times during the last decade, including once last week in
Prior to a
commission meeting earlier this year, the Commission hadn’t
met since 2010, according to Curtis Anderson, commission
member representing the California side of the river.
document overseen by the commission is known as the Klamath
River Basin Compact, which created the commission in 1957.
Essentially, since the river flows between Oregon and
California, the commission, also represented by Oregon Water
Resources Department head Tom Byler, ensures both states
of the commission also address potential violations of the
the commission was originally created because of concerns of
water use since each state could claim oversight of the
was on a meeting hiatus for various reasons prior to it’s
meeting at Oregon Tech on Thursday, including conflicting
schedules and weather at times through out the last nine
years, according to Anderson.
if we can be helpful by at least providing information and
providing an opportunity for people to raise concerns
concerning the Compact itself,” Anderson said.
which reports to the President, is trying to increase its
visibility by meeting at least once a year.
to figure out how can we be of the most service to the
Compact and of the Basin because there’s a lot of different
efforts going on,” Anderson said in an interview with the
H&N. “There’s the Klamath River Renewal Corporation and the
endangered Suckers and the coho salmon … there’s a lot of
issues moving forward that weren’t considered as part of the
Compact. And so it’s like, the Compact has these priorities
of uses but it was created before the Endangered Species
to see what our role is in light of all these other things
that have come forward since the creation of the Compact,”
members learned about water quality concerns in Klamath
River and possible solutions in a meeting last week at
Oregon Tech. They discussed the commission’s history at a
meeting earlier this year.
of the California North Coast Quality Control Board, and
Mike Hyatt, of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality,
presented commissioners with updates on potential water
quality solutions for the Klamath River.
Hyatt’s presentation has also been shared with a group
called the Coalition of the Willing, a gathering of
stakeholders meeting in Medford and Redding about water in
the Klamath Basin.
in the Klamath Basin has degraded over time,” Creager told
about one dozen attendees on Thursday.
the river is warmer and has been in an eutrophic state, or
rich in nutrients and minerals, for some time.
While he is not
trying to fully reverse that, Creager sees a need to address
the current state of increasing nutrients and minerals as
well as to retrieve excess phosphorous that causes toxic
quality is essential to fish health and abundance,” Creager
said. “We have endangered species in the Basin we believe
that through these water quality improvements, we can
alleviate that condition. Physical habitat, restoration, and
water quality improvement measures often overlap.
measures can benefit agricultural operations,” Creager
efficiency, improved riparian conditions, these things will
provide resilience to agricultural operations in light of
climate change and our increasing water shortages.”
was also taken at the meeting and various individuals shared
concerns about dam removal.
at this time does not have a role,” Anderson said, referring
interested individuals to Klamath River Renewal Corporation.
commission meeting has not been scheduled but will likely be
held in 2020, in which Anderson said the commission plan to
continue discussions to create a website for easier access
for the public.
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