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Water settlement

Twelve districts sign on to pact

Groups represent 90 percent of irrigated acres in Klamath Project
H&N Staff Writer
February 27, 2008


   Twelve local irrigation and improvement districts are supporting the proposed Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement, Klamath Water Users Association Executive Director Greg Addington announced Tuesday. 

   He said the districts represent more than 90 percent of the irrigated acres in the Klamath Project served by Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River. 

   “I’m happy about the commitment these guys have made,” Adding ton said. “They’ve looked at this hard and had their attorneys look at it hard. They’ve done their due diligence and to a district have taken a serious look at it.” 

   The proposed agreement allocates water in the Klamath River watershed among fisheries, irrigators, tribes and conservationists. It also advocates removal of four hydroelectric dams owned and operated by PacifiCorp. 

   Although pleased with the response, Addington was not necessarily surprised by the support. 

   “I think we put together a pretty comprehensive plan,” he said of stakeholder groups who met during the past two years. 

   Addington said there are smaller groups yet to make a decision, but he has not heard that any irrigation district intends to oppose the document. 

   He said the KID membership is supportive because the agreement provides dependable quantities of water. 

   “We have been dodging a train wreck for many years,” Solem said. “The agreement addresses issues we’ve been trying to address on an annual or monthly basis for the last five years. 

   “As for the water supply situation, we’ve always said if we had a known quantity of water, we could manage.” 

   Solem added the agreement is attractive because “it has components that deal with affordable power.” 


   Klamath Water Users Association President Luther Horsley said there was interaction between the water users association and district boards as the settlement agreement was put together, with district boards relaying information to their members. 

   “As the (agreement) began to take shape last year, we had more joint meetings of boards, and drafts were consistently shared with their attorneys,” he said. “This guided our process, and made it possible for the district boards to efficiently address the issues in the (agreement) when it was released publicly.” 

   Rob Crawford, a board member for Westside Improvement District, said the choice is simple. “Let others continue to dictate to us or choose to become part of the process and address the rights and needs of everyone including ourselves,” he said. 

   Addressing concerns 

   Addington emphasized that Klamath Water Users Association is eager to help address concerns raised by off-Project irrigators. 

   “The more that people understand the agreement, the better off we’ll be,” he said. 

   The Klamath County Board of Commissioners has delayed making a decision on the agreement pending discussions between off-Project irrigators, the Klamath Tribes and Klamath Water Users Association.
Side Bar
Irrigation districts

   The following irrigation districts indicated they would sign on to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement:
From Oregon

— Enterprise Irrigation District, Klamath Basin Improvement District, Klamath Drainage District, Klamath Irrigation District, Malin Irrigation District, Pioneer District Improvement Co., Plevna District Improvement Co., Shasta View Irrigation District, and Van Brimmer Ditch Co.

From California

— Tulelake Irrigation District and Westside Improvement District.



              Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:15 AM  Pacific

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