Klamath tribes submit ‘call for water’ amidst continuing drought

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore. – Because of the continued drought in the region, the Klamath tribes are calling for their water needs to be met according to the law.

The Klamath tribes are senior water users, meaning they have top priority to have their water needs met.

Because of the ongoing drought, there is not enough water to go around, so some groups are given priority based on agreements that go back over a century.

If the tribes’ call for water goes through for water from Fourmile Creek, the Rogue River Valley and Medford Irrigation Districts could be severely impacted.

“It would be devastating to our two districts if we lose that water, bottom line,” Rogue Valley River Irrigation District Manager Brian Hampson said. “And the growers over in the Rogue Basin would suffer as well.”

Hampson said that losing water at the Fourmile Reservoir would force them to take from the Emigrant Reservoir.

But that could also soon run low, and they wouldn’t be able to catch up and have a full season.

According to the Oregon Water Resources Department, notices will be sent out either later Friday or early next week on if the call for water is successful.

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Ethan McReynolds is a reporter and weekend anchor for NBC5 News. He grew up in Bothell, Washington and graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Broadcasting and minors in Journalism and Sport Management. At Gonzaga, he started his own sports podcast. Ethan loves rooting for his hometown Seattle sports teams, especially the Mariners. He loves playing baseball, basketball, and soccer. He is also an avid Taylor Swift fan.
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