Wrangling over water
- MLA style: "Wrangling over water.." The Free Library. 2007 The Register Guard 18 Aug. 2014 http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Wrangling+over+water.-a0168860264
- Chicago style: The Free Library. S.v. Wrangling over water.." Retrieved Aug 18 2014 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Wrangling+over+water.-a0168860264
- APA style: Wrangling over water.. (n.d.) >The Free Library. (2014). Retrieved Aug 18 2014 from http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Wrangling+over+water.-a0168860264
Byline: Winston Ross The Register-Guard
BANDON - Johnson Creek gurgles out of the hills on the southern Oregon Coast and snakes between Alder trees and cranberry bogs before finishing a short journey to the Pacific Ocean, a few miles from its source.
Johnson Creek's water - its "liquid gold," as area farmers put it - is captured in a couple of places along the way by a couple of small dams that cranberry growers tap into to irrigate their crops at harvest time. It's also valuable fish habitat, a cutthroat trout-bearing stream and a former spawning ground for fragile coho salmon populations. But most of the water dumps into the sea.
That's a waste, farmers say, and it's why a group of them want to build a 90-foot earthen dam on the creek, capable of capturing and storing as much as 1,500 acre feet of water, or 49 million gallons. But the proposed reservoir project is growing more expensive and more controversial by the day, dividing the growers themselves and pitting the region's burgeoning thirst against one couple's fear that their property will be condemned and flooded to benefit someone else's wallet.
Even some of the project's potential subscribers are backing away from the dam now, upset that what once was a relatively modest proposal to serve a select number of farmers now involves the city of Bandon and Michael Keiser, the owner of the Bandon Dunes golf resort.
They also don't like the prospect of a showdown between those powerful interests and the owners of upstream property, which could lead to the government's taking of valuable timberland via eminent domain - a phrase that some property owners say makes them nauseous.