Science Behind Klamath Basin Irrigation Water Will Be Updated


Reclamation announced they will invest $1.2 million in new science for the Klamath Project, which supplies the basin’s farmland with water.

The money will fund studies of stream flows, and research habitat, disease and survival of Chinook and endangered Coho salmon in the Klamath River.

Mark Johnson is the deputy director of the Klamath Water Users Association, which represents farmers. He says this is a chance to update 20-year-old science, which they hope will result in more water for irrigators.

“From our perspective we would just like to see more transparency and more objective science,” Johnson says. “It seems to be pretty one-sided right now.”

Punishing drought conditions in 2020 left irrigators with about 40% of their usual water allocation, according to Johnson.

The Bureau of Reclamation announcement was also welcomed by Glen Spain with the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Associations, a group that supports keeping water in the river for salmon habitat.

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