Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Projects in limbo

Washington water rights dispute holds up construction

Legislative work stretched into the early hours of Saturday morning, but lawmakers still left one big job undone, a 2017-19 capital budget with some $4 billion worth of projects. JIM CAMDEN

Spokesman-Review

Associated Press

The Washington state Legislature recently averted a partial government shutdown by passing a two-year operating budget. But $4 billion in new construction projects and money for a few hundred state jobs still hang in the balance while the capital budget has been held up by a dispute over water rights. Senate Republicans say they won't pass a capital budget without legislation aimed at overturning a recent state Supreme Court known as the Hirst decision.

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U.S. Senate bill includes Klamath measures

Herald and News

A U.S. Senate bill introduced Sunday includes an amendment with a number of measures pushed by Klamath Water Users Association that are designed to assist Klamath Project irrigators. Key elements of an amendment to the bill include direction provided to the U.S. Department of the Interior to develop a plan and then make actions to reduce power costs for irrigators in the Klamath Project.

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Tribes tout economic benefit of Columbia River

Spokesman-Review

Allowing the Columbia to flow more like a natural river would benefit the region financially, bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits to local communities, Northwest tribes say. In a 150-page study, the tribes make a financial case for modernizing dam operations in the Columbia Basin and releasing more water during dry years to aid struggling salmon runs.

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