Water disputes in Siskiyou County heat up

Dozens of people rally outside of city hall in Weed, Calif. on Thursday March 10, 2016.

WEED, Calif.- Dozens of people rallied outside of Weed city hall Thursday afternoon.


Residents are taking a stance about a water contract extension between the City of Weed and Roseburg Forest Products.

Protesters say the company and the city made a bad agreement.

Weed residents will see their water bills increase about $9 per month and the city will be paying about $100,000 per year for 1.5 cubic feet per second of water.

For the past five decades, the city has only been paying $1 per year.

"We did everything we could to try to negotiate with Roseburg point to not come to this point and we just can't afford to move that they're making now," said Bob Hall, a city councilor who was part of the rally.

Protesters say Roseburg Forest Products wants the total water rights to nearby Beaughan Springs.

"Water is a public trust it's a matter of the commons this is something you cannot live without, water is life," said Vicki Gold from organization "Water Flows Free."

Residents say they have the rights to the water.

Immediately following the rally, Weed City Council held a meeting with the water contract extension on the consent calendar.

More than 100 people filled the room and councilors heard about 20 public testimonies.

"What's happening here in this town is just a very small slice of the big picture and the big picture is corporate takeover of water rights throughout the globe," said a resident addressing the council during public hearing.

Weed city leaders are still deliberating about the contract.

They want to change some of the language in the agreement.

City councilor Bob Hall's goal is to take the matter to court to see exactly who owns the water.

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