From News Line, a daily compilation of farm water news distributed to CFWC members and others upon request. To receive News Line, click here.

Farmers sue on Klamath water releases for salmon

West-valley farmers sue feds over salmon protection plan

Coalition response…The purpose of the lawsuit is to hold the Bureau of Reclamation accountable for the water they are charged with managing.¬†¬†Reclamation’s proposed action would take up to 100,000 acre-feet of water that is designated for farms, homes and businesses and redirect it down the Trinity River and on to the Klamath River to protect non-endangered salmon from a disease already established in the Klamath. Reclamation had water available earlier this year that could have been used specifically for this purpose but it was squandered and now the agency is illegally taking water from CVP users for use outside of the CVP service area.

In 1988 the number of returning salmon was almost double to numbers that were present in 2002 and the flows in the rivers were identical. No supplemental water was released by Reclamation in 1988 and no salmon die-off occurred.

Federal agencies are as responsible for following the law as the rest of us. It is unfortunate that it is taking a lawsuit to accomplish that.