Water crisis looming on Klamath Project

Klamath Falls, Ore. – Water could soon be shut off to farmers in the Klamath Basin, triggering major financial losses.

Klamath Project farmers began hiring, and ordering supplies based on Bureau of Reclamation forecasts of 140,000 acre feet of water.

Gene Souza of the Klamath Irrigation District says that water allocation has changed.  “We’ve been told by Reclamation that that supply has been reduced by about 60,000 acre feet, and so we’re looking at 80,000 acre feet for the entire year.”

Souza believes the cutback will lead to an early shutoff of water.  “Based on the information that I have from Reclamation, we could be seeing a cutoff for Klamath Irrigation District as soon as June 15th.”

Souza believes an early shutoff could be financially devastating to the Klamath Basin.  “Hundreds of millions of dollars in workers, in restaurants, in equipment, transportation, fuel, everything that keeps this basin going is at risk right now.”

The K.I.D. board of directors is scheduled to meet Thursday.

Some assistance is available for land idling, and groundwater pumping through the Klamath Project Drought Response Agency.

You’ll find a link to more information here:  www.klamathwaterbank.com

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