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Cogentrix water needs harmful

To the editor: I am responding to the Cogentrix article in the Central Oregonian of 12/22/01. Last year, we experienced the dryest year on record. With Ochoco Irrigation District cutting farmers back a foot of irrigation water and our reservoirs almost empty, Irwin had the gall to tell the Prineville Economic Committee there was more water than needed for irrigation. Cogentrix plans on taking 4.49 million gallons of water a day from the Ochoco Reservoir for their water mitigation (make less painful). This is during “low flow times” or the irrigation season — also vacation season for the many who come to enjoy our water resources. I just hope that OID reads the fine print in their contract with Cogentrix. You can bet, Cogentrix will not do without water for their glutinous proposed power plant. It will be the farmers. I always thought irrigation districts were for farmers, not commercial facilities (power plants). The farmers may not have any water for their crops but OID will have “a long term income” from a non-farm source (Cogentrix). Why are they even allowed to take Crook County water in the first place? The proposed power plant is in Jefferson County. D. Treadway Crook County resident