How to allocate water resources in a shrinking Klamath River Basin and the associated costs, including to California and Oregon ratepayers, was the focus of a June 20 U.S. Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee hearing. The Klamath River, which has fed hydropower, irrigation, aquatic ecosystems and native tribes for decades, is impacted by a serious summer drought. Supplies also are expected to become more constrained by climate change. PacifiCorp\u2019 168 MW hydroelectric project on the Klamath River \u201cis a key component\u201d to ongoing efforts \u201cto resolve the broader resource-based conflicts,\u201d said Dean Broadbank, vice president and general counsel for PacifiCorp. The utility serves 600,000 ratepayers in California and Oregon. Under a 2010 settlement with a diverse group of stakeholders, including the State of California, tribes, agriculture, environmentalists, and PacifiCorp, the utility agreed to decommission its dams\u2014with ratepayers and the two states covering the costs. \u201cCalifornia is going to pay its fair share,\u201d John Laird, California Natural Resources secretary, told committee chair Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR). The secretary promised that California would make good on its promise to pay $250 million for the removal of the dams by 2020. According to the California Public Utilities Commission and Oregon Public Utilities Commission, \u201cDam removal under the conditions specified in the Hydropower Agreement will be less costly and risky for power customers than relicensing under the Federal Power Act,\u201d said Richard Roos-Collins, representing several conservation groups, including American Rivers. The decades-long conflicts over the Klamath River and attempts to resolve them \u201care a proxy for huge water issues in this country,\u201d Wyden said. \u201cThe cost of restoring the Klamath basin is a major issue,\u201d Wyden added. He\u2019s considering seeking federal legislation to lower costs to ratepayers.