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Merkley And Wyden Introduce Crooked River Collaborative Water Security Act

Legislation was introduced last week to improve water management on the Crooked River near Prineville.  Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley spoke Friday about the bill.

Merkley: "You know how we say here in the West: Whiskey, that's for drinking, and water, that's for fighting."

The Crooked River Collaborative Water Security Act alters regulations to the Bowman Dam improving environmental conditions for fish. It also changes water irrigation standards and allows the dam to be retrofitted with hydroelectric turbines. Senator Merkley says it was important to bring stakeholders together and plan for the future.

Merkley: "And so you have a number of fish related groups that have been involved. And in dry years, you want to be able to manage that flow, having a little bit of water in the reservoir that's allocated for the fish and then have a dryer management plan."

The Bill is endorsed by the City of Prineville, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and The American Rivers Association. It still needs to get passed by the Senate before it goes to the House.

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