'Water bank' drags river basin deeper into debt

Clarren, Rebecca
October 2005
High Country News;10/17/2005, Vol. 37 Issue 19, p5
This article examines the impact of the water bank program of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, which was set-up in 2002. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation manages the project, which was funded for 10 years. It pays farmers to stop irrigating altogether, or to use only well water on their fields, or to pump their well water into irrigation canals, so the Bureau can leave more water in the river. The water bank was supposed to keep everyone happy. But four years and 20 million dollars later, a solution to the basin's water problems is as elusive as ever.


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