KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. — An Oregon judge has rejected claims by several Klamath Basin irrigators that state regulators wrongly shut down their groundwater wells based on faulty scientific analysis.

The Capital Press reported Thursday (http://bit.ly/2wcPEBa) that Marion County Circuit Court Judge Channing Bennett ruled the Oregon Water Resources Department properly relied on “substantial evidence” to halt pumping from the four wells because they were interfering with surface water rights in the Sprague River.

Attorneys for the groundwater irrigators say the case is troubling because the state regulators’ reasoning effectively expands the agency’s jurisdiction over wells not only in the Klamath Basin but elsewhere in Oregon.

The dispute also pits groundwater irrigators against Klamath Basin farmers who use surface water.

The four groundwater wells are less than one mile from the Sprague River.


Information from: Capital Press, http://www.capitalpress.com/washington