Farmers vs. Fish: Water War Heats Up With Probe Into Who Got Millions

"The site of some of the fiercest environmental wars over water in recent years is now the subject of a federal investigation into millions of dollars that whistleblowers say were intended to secure water for drought-stricken fish but flowed instead to farmers and ranchers.

The Office of Special Counsel, the small federal office that investigates disclosures by whistleblowers, has found enough of a likelihood that $48 million was spent improperly by the Interior Department in the Klamath Basin that it directed the agency to do a formal investigation.

The basin, which begins in the mountains east of the Cascade Range in southern Oregon and flows to northern California, has long been a flashpoint for conflicts over water use and fish conservation. Farmers and ranchers have fought with environmentalists and Indian tribes over the scarce water supply in this enormous watershed, one of the largest in the western U.S."

Lisa Rein reports for the Washington Post July 8, 2015.

Source: Wash Post, 07/09/2015