Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Subject: Summary of changes in the KBRA since the January 2008 draft
The Klamath Settlement Group requested that I prepare a summary of the changes made to the Restoration Agreement since the draft that was released on January 15, 2008. I have attached my analysis.
This summary is intended to help the participants on the Klamath Settlement Group as they complete their formal review of the Restoration Agreement and decide whether to sign it. If your organization needs more specific information, or if you have questions or comments about this analysis, please contact me.
As you will see, I found that the KSG participants made changes for three reasons: 1) as response to earlier public comments on the 2008 draft: 2) for consistency with the draft Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement released in draft form in September 2009; and as a Public Review draft on January 8, 2010; 3) to assure that the Restoration Agreement will achieve its stated goals in a cost-effective manner over its term of 50 years.
Please note that this summary is not intended as an interpretation of, or amendment to, the Restoration Agreement. Participants should refer to the specific language in each section for more detailed information about the changes.
MOST SIGNIFICANT CHANGES TO 2008 DRAFT
The most significant changes to the 2008 draft are:
§ The Federal agencies which assisted in negotiation of the Restoration Agreement will sign it and formally become Parties once Congress enacts authorizing legislation. Until then, these agencies will voluntarily implement measures within existing authorities.
§ The Parties will review expenditures annually and report to all funding sources on the status of implementation of the measures in the Agreement.
§ The Agreement may terminate only on two conditions: authorizing legislation is not timely enacted, or the Parties agree to termination. A right of withdrawal would arise if the water rights settlement between the Klamath Reclamation Project, its contractors, the Tribes and the United States fails.
§ The Agreement integrates the programs for water and power management for the Klamath Reclamation Project. Certain elements of the power program were modified.
§ The water rights settlement between the Klamath Reclamation Project, its contractors, Tribes and the United States will occur once specified preconditions occur, including removal of the Hydroelectric Facilities.
§ The Agreement expressly provides that it will not affect the Trinity Restoration Program, or vice versa. At its request, the Hoopa Valley Tribe is not listed as a probable signatory of the Restoration Agreement.
§ The program for water management in the Upper Klamath Basin is based on an expected settlement between the Off-Project irrigators and tribes.
§ The program for the affected counties in Oregon and California now includes Del Norte, in addition to Humboldt, Siskiyou, and Klamath.
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