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Environment | local

Klamath Farmers Will Be Paid To Save Water For Fish

Klamath Basin farmers will receive another $10 million to idle their land. The aim is to help conserve water this year for endangered salmon and suckerfish.

Money for the Klamath farmers was tucked into a bill funding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Democratic senator Jeff Merkley and Republican congressman Greg Walden pushed for the aid.

Hollie Cannon directs the Klamath Water and Power Authority. He says the money will arrive late in the growing season. But it will still help.

Hollie Cannon: “There are people who have not received enough irrigation, and the concept is if we can go ahead and contract with them to idle, then there will be adequate water for those remaining.”

Cannon say the water table in the basin has dropped 30 feet this year due to pumping from emergency wells.

He hopes paying more farmers to idle land will help conserve groundwater.