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House Passes Bill Supporting Klamath Water Users

(Washington, DC) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after the House passed/he voted in support of S.3758, which would make technical corrections the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) to allow the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to use as much as $10 million annually to respond to severe drought conditions in the Klamath Basin. Specifically, this bill gives the Secretary of Interior more precise authority to use these funds and lays out specific examples of appropriate programs the funds can be spent on.

LaMalfa said: “The 2020 water year has been the second worst on record for Klamath Basin farmers and water users. Secretary Bernhardt and Commissioner Burman worked around the clock to reverse the water shutoffs that threatened the economy of the Klamath Basin, and vulnerable duck populations in the Klamath National Wildlife Refuge. This legislation will give the Secretary and Commissioner flexibility to better respond to water crises in the Basin during drought years, by authorizing them to use up to $10 million dollars annually for conservation and water efficiency measures. After working on drafting the House version of this bill, I’m proud to see this bill pass, knowing it will bring relief to Klamath Project water users in the future. I look forward to the President signing it into law.”

“The Klamath Basin has been mired in some of the most complex issues of water in the west.  Good intentions of past funding to help the Klamath Irrigation Project through the shortages of water fell victim to red tape,” said Scott Seus, Owner of Seus Family Farms in the Klamath Basin. “This bill will give the needed clarification and direction to Interior to be able to use the money as was intended in the original bill.  We appreciate Congressman LaMalfa and his colleagues addressing this issue and clearing the way for this important tool to be implemented in the Klamath Basin without delay.” 

 “We are extremely grateful to Representative LaMalfa and the work and leadership in getting this bill to the floor of the House of Representatives and on to the President for signature,” said Tulelake farmer Ben DuVal, Vice President of Klamath Water Users Association. “It gives us flexibility and protection that we desperately need.”  

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