Water Flowing to Farmers

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.

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