Valuing water


Thanks to Hillary Rosner and HCN for the June 13 article on the plight of south-central Oregon’s dying lakes and its adverse effects on migratory birds. Oregonians value water for food production, environmental services and the recreational opportunities it provides. However, existing water law, developed when horses were the main form of transport, has lagged behind changing values. Even Idaho has installed meters on water diversions and reports water use. We need to act as if water was truly valuable. Let’s start with a fee on the largest diversions and use the funds to improve monitoring and reporting, and fund instream-flow enhancements.

Ronald J. Larson
Klamath Falls, Oregon