Letter: Legislature should review water laws
Apr 22, 2018
Bend BulletinGeorge Wuerthner in his recent guest column poses a philosophical question: Why should anyone have the “right” to damage and impoverish public waterways for their personal profit? He states that the Deschutes Basin Study is refusing to ask that question.
Wuerthner lays this question on the wrong party. This is not a question for the Basin Study to address; rather it is a question for the Oregon Legislature. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to find a state legislator who is willing to discuss, much less raise, this question in the appropriate arena.
Wuerthner is correct that our laws on water rights are antiquated. They reflect a time when Oregonians placed a priority on
What we desperately need is a review of our water laws and, specifically, updated legislation to better reflect society’s views, including today’s concern for the health of our rivers.
This legislation should revise our rules for allocation of surface water and better define the concept of beneficial use. Using endangered species, such as the spotted frog, to reallocate water is a
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