Walden Applauds Senate Passage of Klamath Drought Relief in Water Package

Walden secured authorization in September for $10 million annually for four years to support drought relief in the Klamath Basin

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Representative Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today applauded the Senate passage of a landmark water package that includes funding he helped secure for drought relief for Klamath Basin irrigators. Walden included a provision in the Water Resources Development Act that authorizes $10 million annually for four years to the Bureau of Reclamation to implement needed drought relief measures for the $181 million dollar agriculture economy in the Klamath Basin. That measure passed the House of Representatives in September with Walden’s support.

“This measure will help ensure our farmers, ranchers, and water users are able to survive this challenging water year and will help prepare us for severe drought conditions we may face in the near future,” said Walden. “The Bureau of Reclamation will now have the authority for four years to implement drought relief measures using resources we secured in the government funding bill that was signed into law in March. I am proud to have worked with my Senate colleagues and Rep. DeFazio to ensure this measure was included in the final bill, and look forward to our continued collaboration to get this relief across the finish line and signed into law.”

Walden is continuing his efforts to support the agriculture community in Klamath County. There are more than 950 farms in Klamath County that generate approximately $181,485,000 in revenue according to census data.

In the government funding measure that was passed into law in March, Walden worked to secure more than $10 million in emergency aid and worked with the Office of Management and Budget to get it released to the Bureau of Reclamation, (BoR).

This latest effort will provide direction to BoR on how the agency is to spend the funds acquired earlier this year and any that are appropriated in succeeding years. This will give BoR the authority to spend $10 million each year over the next four years to implement measures such as:

  • Groundwater pumping to increase the flexibility, reliability, and efficient use of water in the Klamath Basin;

  • Temporary and voluntary land idling on Bureau of Reclamation property to make additional water available; and,

  • Facilitating the movement of non-Project water through Bureau of Reclamation facilities to assist irrigators.

This legislation passed the House of Representatives in September and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law.

Press release provided from the Office of US Representative Greg Walden of Oregon.

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