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Editorial: A useful dam

Albany Democrat Herald February 11, 2011

Anybody having second thoughts yet about the plan to raze four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River? Probably not, but maybe they should.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said on Wednesday it would release a six-hour “pulse” of water from Iron Gate, the farthest downstream of the four dams, in order to wash out parasites from below the dam.

But then, the agency said, it would crank the releases back down to make sure that there would be enough water in Upper Klamath Lake for the start of the irrigation season, and presumably to keep the suckers there in good health as well.

What happens if and when the dams are taken out? How do they regulate the flows on the Klamath then, to wash down fish parasites or for any other reason? And if the dams can be operated now to assure that Klamath Lake fills, what happens when that ability disappears when the dams are gone?

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