Prineville property owner cuts off water; neighbors sue

A court battle boils over an informally operated well in Crook County.

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The well, dug in 1972, could supply water for the six land parcels surrounding it, as long as the properties’ owners paid an annual fee to maintain and operate it. They formed a water district — Juniper Heights Improvement District No. 6 Inc. — that they could pay the money to. But then the 5-acre property the well is on, about 5 miles southeast of Prineville, went up for sale last year.

When newcomer Daryl Owens bought the parcel in January, he noticed something interesting. While the Juniper Heights water district was incorporated, it wasn’t ever listed in Crook County’s records as owning or having access to the well. Owens disconnected his new neighbors’ — more than 10 people’s — water supply, and it remained off for more than two weeks.

(READ MORE: Bend Bulletin)

The Bend Bulletin reports the water was turned back on March 23.

In related news, irrigation season started Friday for farmers on the Klamath Project.

Drought conditions over the past several years have forced a late start, and an early shutoff of irrigation water, and not all farmers have gotten water.

“This is our normal startup time,” said Kandra. “We haven’t had a normal year for a while – so it’s somewhat good so far.” Kandra adds that the irrigation canals must be brought up slowly, “It will take about two weeks to flush and charge the system up.  Deliver water, probably take orders about April 15th.”


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