U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon introduced the “Crooked River Collaborative Water Security Act” with Senator Ron Wyden.
Merkley says the heart of the legislation is about improving the economy in Central Oregon by assuring free flowing water for all users who depend on and use the Crooked River. "Some of this allocates water to the city that's essential for new industry to be able to come. Whether it the type of center that Apple and Facebook has done or other forms of manufacturing enterprises. And certainly in terms of health of the river, that's a big issue with sportsmen and recreationists who come. That’s definitely a factor also with the long-term stable supply for the farm community. So on all three fronts, it has economic advantages. "
Merkley says the next step is for the bill to go through the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and will hopefully receive to blessing there and then it will go to the Senate floor for a vote.
He says the bill was endorsed by a wide variety of groups including the City of Prineville, Crook County, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, American Rivers and many more.