Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Clackamas Water Rights.....

You may recall coming to a TVTU General meeting a few years ago when John DeVoe with WaterWatch spoke about the battle for water on the Clackamas River. Lawsuits followed and courts have ruled.......

The Clackamas River east of the Carver Boat Ramp.  [Brent Wojahn/ The Oregonian]

Oregon Court of Appeals sides with salmon in lawsuit over Clackamas River water use

By Kelly House | The Oregonian
January 05, 2015 at 4:26 PM

The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled that the state Water Resources Department failed to limit the amount of water cities and water districts can draw from the lower Clackamas River so that there would be enough water left in the river for threatened and endangered salmon.

The ruling handed down last week says the withdrawals permitted by the department were not supported by evidence or reason. The court sent the permits back to the department to be revised.
The permits are held by the city of Lake Oswego and water districts serving people in Oregon City, West Linn, and northern Clackamas County.

Attorney Lisa Brown of the conservation group WaterWatch, which brought the lawsuit, says there is plenty of water to draw on in the area without threatening salmon.
--The Associated Press

From OCTU Council Chair:
This is awesome.  Even though we may not always agree with Water Watch, they definitely got it right.  The water providers trying to develop the unused water rights did not have a reasonable argument regarding leaving enough water in the river for fish.  They pinned their hopes on additional releases from Timothy lake to make up the difference but PGE is very restricted on what they can release due to their license requirements, especially in the July-Sept period.

Terry Turner | Oregon Council Chair