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Timeline for KBRA relies on receiving funding
by SARA HOTTMAN, Herald and News 11/3/10
The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement outlines processes and timelines to implement the provisions agreed upon by a number of federal, state, local, tribal and private enterprise stakeholders.
Voters should care because the timeline holds signers accountable to take steps toward water conservation, habitat restoration and the other promises the document makes.
But the clock doesn’t start ticking until the effort is funded, and that depends on pushing a bill through the U.S. Congress. The bill would award an annual allowance toward the KBRA effort. Dollar amounts haven’t been determined, but the full price tag is around $1.5 billion.
The important numbers are 2012, 18 and 10.
The KBRA projected budget starts in 2012, so Congress will need to have passed the bill by then; 18 months after that, a comprehensive water management plan should be finished; 10 years after that, it should be implemented.
Calls to three known on-Project opponents to KBRA placed Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were not returned by deadline, noon on Friday.
In the past, on-Project opponents have objected to the dependence on federal money for funding and the concessions to tribal and environmental groups that are part of the 10-year implementation.
Greg Addington, director of the Klamath Water Users Association, said deadlines are necessarily flexible, but also necessary to the agreement. “The reality is there are any number of intertwined commitments,” he said.
“For example, we made a settlement with the Klamath Tribes in adjudication. We agreed not to continue to contest their claims to water, and they agreed not to interfere with our ability to get water within the terms of KBRA.
“But the flip side is, because we’re all going to live overall with less water, they want to know that it will happen in a timely fashion. They want to know we’re reducing our demand. It’s a give and take with different parties in the agreement. The only way to make sure the give and take is happening is to have some sort of timeframe to say ‘this got done, so now this happens.’ ”
Klamath Water and Power Authority has 18 months after Congress appropriates money — supposedly by 2012 — to write a water management plan.
Once the water plan is written and adopted, stakeholders have 10 years to implement it, if funding allows. Implementation hinges on federal money.
“It’s all tied to funding. If there’s not funding to do adequate studies, there are provisions that bump things later,” Addington said. “We can’t work in the timeline with no money.”
Page Updated: Saturday November 27, 2010 03:11 AM Pacific
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