Fault Lines

When the Water Stopped: An Oregon town at its breaking point

In the western United States, climate change deepens a conflict over water between farmers and Indigenous tribes.

In Oregon in the United States, climate change is pushing a small town to its breaking point.

The federal government has supplied water to farmers in the Klamath Basin region for more than a century, part of a project to encourage white settlement and agriculture in the western US.

But in 2021, amid extreme heat and drought, the government shut off the water to protect endangered fish that are sacred to Native American tribes there.

Now extreme weather is intensifying a long-running water conflict between farmers and tribes, and Indigenous activists are calling for this town to reckon with the colonialism at the root of its water wars.