Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
The role of enhancing Western water supplies and the importance of developing local solutions were key themes that arose in several of the panel discussions that took place in Boise.
Other relevant links about the conference include a summary of Wednesday’s events – “Resolving Western water conflicts will take collaboration" – which can be viewed on The Idaho Statesman website, at: http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2005504210338.
Also, a positive article about Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner John Keys Wise ‘”Wise, well-liked water official talks at conference" - can be seen on this same website at:
A look into the future
The experts, water users and policy makers
assembled at Boise State University this week
looked ahead to what could happen if the West
faced an even more serious drought than the
Already, water is intentionally banked in
naturally occurring aquifers — recharging the
Eastern Snake Plain Aquifer is part of the way
Idaho leaders and water users hope to make sure
there's enough water there for everyone who needs
it. And natural gas is sometimes stored in water
END of ARTICLE
CRAPO: DROUGHT, POLITICS NECESSITATE LOCAL WATER SOLUTIONS
Senator warns Congress, outside interests can step in
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2005
CONTACT: Susan Wheeler (202) 224-5150
Lindsay Nothern (208) 334-1776
Washington, DC – Idaho residents must continue to work together to find solutions to ongoing water issues or risk the threat that the federal government or interests from out of state will step in to override local interests, warned Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. Crapo spoke by satellite this morning to attendees at the Idaho Statesman and Andrus Center’s “Troubled Water” conference at Boise State University.
“The federal government now offers the ‘carrot and stick’ of landowner incentives and water regulatory authority under laws like the Endangered Species Act or Clean Water Act,” Crapo said. “But the federal government has also recognized state water authority. Proactive planning must continue so that states retain water control.” Crapo said. “With the drought, we will see increasing pressure regarding water allocation issues. We must focus on collaboration and consensus-driven decisions at the local level, which can then be brought to the Congress for ratification.”
Crapo held water talks between irrigators and salmon advocates in September 2003. He has also spearheaded collaborative efforts related to elk recovery, the Owyhee Initiative, and, most recently, reducing litigation and improving recovery efforts under the Endangered Species Act.
He said locally-driven consensus planning improves state water control issues before the Congress. “The dynamics surrounding the close voting margins in the United States Senate mean that the proposals with the most success will come from local collaborative efforts agreed to by all sides of an issue. The more we can agree at the local level, the better the chance that local agreement will survive a vote in a divided Senate,” Crapo added.
Crapo also commented briefly on his efforts to improve the ESA in response to questions from participants at the conference. He said a bipartisan coalition of both the U.S. House and Senate are working to reduce litigation which robs resources that could better be spent recovering species. Crapo noted the group is focusing on what is politically and legally achievable to repeat the problems of lawsuits which stop progress under the ESA.
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