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Parties To Negoiate Future Of Bend's Water

During a hearing on Thursday at U.S. District Court in Eugene, parties involved in a fight over the future of Bend’s water supply announced that they have agreed to enter settlement talks.

Water pours from a Portland faucet (file).

Water pours from a Portland faucet (file).

Rebecca Roberts Galloway/OPB

The city planned to break ground on the project next week and start replacing the miles of aging pipe that leads out to its intake point on Tumalo Creek.

Conservation groups Central Oregon Landwatch and WaterWatch of Oregon say both the city and the U.S. Forest Service failed to adequately assess the project’s environmental impact.

Attorneys representing the groups wanted presiding Judge Ann Aiken to issue a preliminary injunction to halt the project, just as she did in October of 2012 in a related case.

However at this hearing, Aiken urged the parties to work the matter out on their own.

While attorneys for both sides seemed skeptical at first, all parties eventually agreed to sit down and talk it out at the negotiating table. Should those talks fail, the parties will meet again in court. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for February 3rd.

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