Klamath Basin water task force making progress

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GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A task force working on an agreement for sharing scarce water in the Klamath Basin has made progress on securing low-cost power for irrigators but will need more time to complete its work, officials said Wednesday.

The thorniest issue — finding ways to ensure cattle ranchers have irrigation water while the viability of fish sacred to the Klamath Tribes is protected — is proving the toughest to resolve.

The task force's last meeting had been scheduled today in Klamath Falls, but it will need a few more weeks to finish.

The task force was created by the governor and members of Congress after drought and newly recognized water rights for the tribes forced irrigation shutoffs to ranchers on the former reservation.