KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Today, Reclamation announced water supply increases for the benefit of water users and wildlife refuges in the Klamath Project in view of modest improvements in hydrology during the late summer and operational adjustments described below.
“We appreciate the efforts taken by Klamath Project water users that allowed the limited supplies of 2020 to stretch through the summer,” stated Commissioner Brenda Burman. “Managing the second lowest allocation in the history of the Klamath Project was an enormous challenge for both the project and the refuges. I am pleased that Reclamation, in collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, can make these operational adjustments to close out the agricultural activities as planned and bring additional relief to the wildlife refuges.”
Managing water during extreme drought conditions in the basin has required a series of adjustments in Klamath Project operations since April. Reclamation has continually assessed available supplies in Upper Klamath, Clear Lake and Gerber reservoirs and the needs of the project and wildlife refuges. Based on its most recent assessment, Reclamation is making three adjustments in September to close out the 2020 irrigation season and prepare water supplies for 2021:
- 5,400 acre-feet of water will be delivered from Upper Klamath Lake to Tule Lake and Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuges to help curtail the ongoing avian botulism outbreak. This volume was acquired for fish and wildlife purposes and held in Upper Klamath Lake since this spring and is the same source of water that has allowed for the delivery of 4,000 acre-feet over the past month for the same purposes.
- Reclamation will facilitate a temporary irrigation exchange of 10,000 to 15,000 acre-feet of water from Upper Klamath Lake to farms in the Klamath Project. The volume in Upper Klamath Lake will be replenished from Clear Lake and Gerber Reservoir releases during the fall months.
- Reclamation is increasing the allocation of the Klamath Project by up-to 8,000 acre-feet from Upper Klamath Lake, if needed.
For more information on the Klamath Project and its operations, visit https://www.usbr.gov/projects/index.php?id=470.