Thousands of farmers without water after irrigation canal shuts off for first time ever in Klamath Co.

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. —Thousands of farmers are without water for their crops Wednesday. The Bureau of Reclamation has shut off the A Canal, the principal irrigation canal for the Klamath Project.

It’s the first time, it’s converted no water. The bureau released a letter Wednesday, on Klamath Project water availability. It says the water supply from Upper Klamath Lake is insufficient to operate the A Canal, during the 2021 irrigation season.

Now, it anticipates only approximately 3,000 acre-feet of water, will be available. That is less than half the water needed to charge the A Canal.

“It is a surprise, the best case scenario this year was awful and this just makes it more awful to have no water through that critical artery for the Klamath Project,” said Paul Simmons, KWUA Executive Director.

The Bureau of Reclamation says given the insufficient supply, it’s necessary to reinstall bulkheads at the headgates.  That step makes it physically impossible to take any water from Upper Klamath Lake into the A Canal.

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Jenna King is the 6pm anchor and our Feature Reporter at 10pm and 11pm for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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