SALEM, Ore. (AP) – A judge has ruled that Oregon’s water regulators exceeded their authority by shutting off wells within 500 feet of waterways in the Upper Klamath Basin last year.

The Capital Press reports Marion County Circuit Judge Claudia Burton also ruled the Oregon Water Resources Department violated the due process rights of irrigators Troy and Tracy Brooks, who filed a lawsuit opposing the agency’s enforcement action.

Lawyer for the plaintiffs Dominic Carollo says it’s likely the ruling will set a precedent preventing the agency from taking the same approach to stop groundwater pumping – not only in the Upper Klamath Basin, but elsewhere in Oregon where the agency says wells are interfering with surface waters.

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