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Rep. Reschke Urges Release of Water
Tensions are beginning to rival those of about 20 years ago

In the wake of the Federal Bureau of Reclamation's denial of water to Klamath Basin irrigators, State Representative E. Werner Reschke is calling on the Oregon Water Resources Department to release the water to the local farmers.

While the Bureau of Reclamation has a the right to store water in Upper Klamath Lake, it has no right to use water from the Upper Klamath Lake — that authority falls to OWRD, to manage the use of that water, per holders of water rights and determined claims. Existing statutory provisions (ORS 540.210) clearly direct OWRD to undertake necessary action when water users are unable to reach agreement pertaining to the ultimate distribution of water. The language found in subsection (2) of this statutory is straightforward:

"(2) The water master shall then take exclusive charge of the ditch or reservoir, for the purpose of dividing or distributing the water therefrom in accordance with the respective and relative rights of the various users of water from the ditch or reservoir, and shall continue the work until the necessity therefor shall cause to exist.”

Tensions are beginning to rival those of about 20 years ago when Klamath Basin farmers clashed with tribes and law enforcement.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-15 11:57:09Last Update: 2021-05-15 12:10:23

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