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Biological opinion key to enough water

Herald and News letter to the editor September 4, 2010 by Warren W. Haught, Klamath Falls

It has been a long summer for those of us who serve on the various boards that govern the handling of irrigation water, land idling funds, and ground water pumping.
Many of our water users consider this to be a preview of the Klamath Basin Reclamation Agreement; insufficient surface water, inadequate funding for land idling, and not enough well water to make up the difference.

I am not anti-KBRA, but I do have grave concerns for Warren Act water users, who took another big hit this year.

As we struggled to deal with these problems, PP&L has blasted us with two rate increases. One in February 2010, for 5.4 percent, and another effective Jan. 1, 2011, for 9.9 percent. That amounts to 15.3 percent in less than 11 months.

Believe me, they are not done yet. These green power innovations do not lower power rates.

Our best option to insure a full lake by April 1, 2011, is to attack the biological opinion that controls the amount of water released downriver in support of the Endangered Species Act.

Since this is an election year, we need to hound our elected officials to make necessary changes. Point out the hardships you have endured as a result of the water shortage.

Get up close and personal; loss of water to your home, crops and livestock, ability to pay loans or to borrow money. Show a dollar figure where you can.

Local retailers and equipment dealers should jump on this bandwagon. Check your bottom line and tax returns. They should give you cause to tell a sorry tale.

We can not go a third year without a full lake on April 1. Let's make that our goal.

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