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Put water storage in proposed agreement

March 9, 2009 Herald and News letter to the editor by David Hill, Merrill, OR
    After reviewing the “proposed” Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement Initiative, I am very disappointed to not see a proposal for a cold-water storage facility, specifically Long Lake.

    About 25 years ago, Jim Kerns proposed developing Long Lake as a storage area for the Klamath River ecosystem and to my knowledge this area has been studied and analyzed and studied again and again contrary to what the officials at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation have stated.

    In reviewing this document, it states in several sections the need for such storage, but the 27 parties signing onto this agreement did not see the necessity to implement in writing how important this is to all parties concerned.

    It sounds reasonable to me that Long Lake is the only viable option and would provide a simple solution for all water users — cold water for Klamath River, the Tribes and enough water in Upper Klamath Lake for endangered species.

    We now have an opportunity with the Obama stimulus funding to use these funds for construction of needed material at Long Lake, which will provide jobs and a stimulus to the local economy and will also eventually provide enough water for all parties concerned.

    I also don’t understand the certainty the stakeholders have in this initiative that will limit litigation by signing this agreement. What prevents the Sierra Club, ONRC or any other group that has not signed this agreement from filing a lawsuit against the stakeholders for any conceivable problem in the future?

    I believe we must have an amendment to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement Initiative that will include construction of Long Lake (cold-water storage) that would be beneficial to all parties concerned.

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