Water Flowing to Farmers

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Mon, April 2 2012 at 3:41 PM, Updated: Mon, April 2 2012 at 3:51 PM

Today marks the start of irrigation season on the Klamath Project...

But just how much water farmers will get is still in question.

With the flick of a switch, Darin Kandra of the Klamath Irrigation District opened the headgates to the 'A' canal.  The water will have to go a long way...

"It's going to be ending up in about 200 miles of canals and laterals."

A wet spring has greatly improved conditions, and Klamath Basin mountain snowpack levels are now at 100% of average for this date.  But Kevin Moore of the US Bureau of Reclamation cautions that doesn't mean that all Klamath Basin farmers will be getting a full supply of water...

"There's a possibility that we'll have a really warm Spring, which could cause an early melt-off of the snow."

Moore noted that early water season forecasts were made over the weekend...

"It indicated that we're going to receive from inflow somewhere between 275 thousand to 325 thousand acre feet.  Normal deliveries or releases are around 425 thousand."

Kandra says it will take a while to get the entire canal system up and running...

"It takes about two weeks to flush the weeds through, and get everything charged up and ready to go."

But for now, Kandra says he's happy with the way the season is looking...

"Could still be a tight water year, but it's better than it was."

And that's good news for fish, and farmers.

To give you an idea of just how much mountain snow pack levels have improved, those levels for the Klamath Basin were only at 66% of average on March first.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

Leave a Comment:

Note: Comments with profanity are automatically filtered and hidden. Verbal attacks towards others via our comments section will not be tolerated.