Drought haves, have-nots test how to share water in the West
Phil Fine stands in a parched field and watches a harvester gnaw through his carrot seed crop, spitting clouds of dust in its wake. Cracked dirt lines empty irrigation canals, and dust devils and tumbleweeds punctuate a landscape in shades of brown.
Across an invisible line separating Fine’s irrigation district from the next, it’s another world. Automated sprinklers hiss as they douse crops, cattle munch on green grass and water bubbles through verdant farmland.
In this swath of central Oregon, where six irrigation districts rely on the Deschutes River, the...