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2018-07-22. The Klamath conflict—Water war along California-Oregon border pits growers against tribes, family against family.

posted Jul 22, 2018, 7:48 PM by Alan Gould
By Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle. For GSS Ecosystem Change chapter 4. Excerpt: TULELAKE, Siskiyou County [CA]...The Klamath River has run low, and the economic fallout of a water shortage brought on by years of drought has gripped this farming community, ...Dating to 1906, the enormous waterworks anchored by Upper Klamath Lake, where the Klamath River begins its 250-mile journey to sea, consists of seven dams and hundreds of miles of canals. It irrigates a region worth more than $300 million annually in potatoes, onions, sugar beets and other crops, .... In addition to serving farmers, federal project managers are required to maintain sufficient water downstream in the Klamath River for threatened coho salmon as well as upstream in the vast yet shallow Upper Klamath Lake for endangered suckerfish. After years of drought and declining fish numbers, however, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has faced a flurry of litigation over how it’s balancing the project’s supplies. ...A few years ago there was hope. The leaders of the basin’s various interest groups had come together to figure out a way to share the water. Farmers committed to restrictions in exchange for a guaranteed annual supply, while American Indian leaders, environmentalists and fishing groups agreed to less water for fish in return for wildlife protections, including removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. While the landmark deal was approved by the U.S. Interior Department as well as the governors of California and Oregon, Congress failed to give the go-ahead. Many in the nation’s capitol, including Rep. Doug LaMalfa, R-Richvale (Butte County), did not want to see the dams go away.... https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/article/The-Klamath-conflict-Water-war-along-13089350.php