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Drought Fueling Western Wildfires, Water Wars, Legal Conflicts

May 25, 2021, 7:52 PM

The historic dry conditions desiccating the West will pit “tribe against tribe” and “fish against fish” as they compete for the last available drops of water and possibly take disputes to court, an Oregon congressman told lawmakers at a hearing Tuesday.

Mandates for in-stream flows—water required to remain in rivers to sustain aquatic life—will pose significant legal challenges as streams go dry and more farmers and communities are forced to curtail water use, Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.) said during a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing..

His comments encapsulated the water fights shaping up as the West endures one of the ...

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