Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

KWUA centennial celebration speech by Steve Kandra, President KWUA Board of Directors 10/11/05

The Klamath Irrigation Project is an American success story that we should be proud of. We are a century old partnership of hundreds of families working the land and an American vision to build communities and feed the world. We the farmers, ranchers, businessmen, teachers, and professionals, with the assistance and blessing of the United States, are the "Klamath Irrigation Project".

Dependable Water for irrigation and Affordable Power for pumping has sustained the Klamath Project for most of its 100 years of operations. Our challenge for the next 100 years will be to secure our water and energy needs in a Western America that is growing faster than resources can be developed to sustain that growth. Year 2001 was a tragic example of conflicting need, and a renewed call for vigilance, cooperation, and action.

The Klamath Water Users Association was created over fifty years ago to represent and protect the water rights and electrical power reservations of our irrigation community. Today, it remains as our primary mission.

In partnership with Reclamation, the Water Users are promoting work done by the National Academy of Science to see that Endangered Species recovery is properly dealt with on a watershed wide basis, instead of the unjust and impractical focus on the Klamath Irrigation Project operations. Soon a "Undepleted Flow Study" will have cleared peer review and be available to correct flawed historical water flow perceptions and demands contained in current Biological Opinions. There is now political inertia to update the Endangered Species Act to provide better science and technical review, along with protecting the property rights of individuals.

Water Users continues to seek and support ecosystem improvements that will provide identifiable benefits to endangered species with compliance relief for our farms, while maintaining the integrity of our communities.

We have a lot of work to do to secure our irrigation future. There is no one "Silver Bullet" solution to our Endangered Species issues. Our future will be a complex series of technical, scientific, legal, political, and negotiated settlement actions. In that, the Bureau of Reclamation and Water Users partnership continues to be diligent and active.

I would like to introduce Klamath Water Users "Power Committee" chairman Scott Seus who will give you an update on our activities regarding electrical power costs for our future.




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