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Groups advocating for funds for all irrigators     


Herald and News by Jill Aho June 8, 2010


   Langell Valley irrigators are not members of lobbying organizations that have ensured the drought stricken region is at the forefront of state and federal legislators’ minds.


   But the Klamath Water and Power Agency and the Klamath Water Users Association officials said while their main concern is for their members, they still advocate for funding to help the entire region.  


   Looking for help


   “It’s not like we’re out there trying to say, ‘How can we get money and not share it?’ ” said Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director Greg Addington. “We’re going to get funding, and we still have people who have no water and no funding on the west side.   I’m out there just trying to look for funds, look for ways to get folk s through this year. I’m not saying it has to be west side funds.”  


   $500,000 allocation


   The Bureau of Reclamation was responsible for a $500,000 allocation for the east side of the project, Addington said.


   Bureau of Reclamation spokesman Kevin Moore said the agency attempts to represent all of its contracted irrigation districts equally and resolve any problem identified by any Project contractor.


   “After meetings with (Langell Valley Irrigation District) representatives, Reclamation leadership took action to amend the language in the (Water User Mitigation Program) to include the east side of the Project,” Moore said. “Additional efforts were made by the Commissioner of Reclamation to locate and allocate additional funds to include the east side of the Project.”  




   Hollie Cannon, executive director of KWAPA , said he assumes modifications the Bureau of Reclamation is working on will include the east side.


   Cannon said he does not believe that not being members of the Klamath Water Users Association or the KWAPA had any effect on the east side’s exclusion from past programs.


   “I think it has more to do with the fact that since 2001, almost every year there’s been a water problem on the Project’s west side,” Cannon said.

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