Can A Truce Hold Off Another Water Rebellion?

The last time water was this scarce in the Klamath Basin, a rugged agricultural area straddling the California-Oregon border, farmers clashed with U.S. marshals and opened locked canal gates with blowtorches so they could irrigate. Nearly 10,000 agriculture activists from around the U.S. later converged on the region to hold symbolic “bucket brigade” protests. Months of unrest ended after then-Vice President Dick Cheney personally intervened and worked behind the scenes to have water delivered to the growers – a decision that tribal fishing communities downstream blamed for killing 68,000 salmon in the fall of 2002.