Wednesday April 19, 2023

Klamath Falls News

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) announced the initial 2023 irrigation supply from Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River for farms and wildlife refuges within the Klamath Project at Klamath Water Users Association’s (KWUA) annual meeting on April 13, 2023. Reclamation’s initial allocation is 215,000 acre-feet of water, which represents approximately 60 percent of the water needed this year for farms and wildlife refuges served by the Klamath Project. 

“KWUA is very disappointed that Reclamation chose not to follow its own operational plans,” Tracey Liskey, President of KWUA. “In a year that is in the top ten percent in terms of snowpack, with over 180 percent of average currently, and when Reclamation expects to release more than 590,000 acre-feet of water to the Pacific Ocean, we have 60,000 acres of farmland along with two national wildlife that are likely to go dry this year.” 

Upper Klamath Lake stores approximately 460,000 acre-feet, meaning that the entire lake (plus more) will be emptied this year to produce temporary flows in the Klamath River. Forecasts indicate that more water will be released for river flows this summer than will flow into Upper Klamath Lake. 

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