An agreement is finally made that will allocate more water to the City of Prineville from the Crooked River, and Mayor Betty Roppe is thrilled.
An announcement is made Tuesday by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, that now they can introduce legislation; the Crooked River Water Agreement, that will move that "wild and scenic" boundary line, opening up the water to the city.
Mayor Roppe says they have been working on getting this agreement for years. "Every time we pump water from the ground, we have to mitigate for that. And rather buying mitigation rights and drying up some ranch or farm, we are going to have 5100 acre feet introduced into the river from behind Bowman Dam that will benefit the fish and the wildlife and will still allow us to drill for more water." U.S. Representative Greg Walden of Oregon introduced similar legislation in the House in June and it passed unanimously.
Roppe says she believes if everything goes well, the Senate bill will also pass sometime in September or October.