Oregon lawmakers react to water allocation for Klamath project

Upper Klamath Lake (photo: Bureau of Reclamation)

WASHINGTON, DC. – Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are reacting to the Bureau of Reclamation’s announcement on water allocation for the Klamath Project earlier this week.

“We remain committed as ever to working together to ensure Klamath Basin communities have the resources they need to be successful,” Senators Wyden and Merkley said in a joint statement. “While the initial water allocation announced this year was less than expected, this immediate funding we secured and pushed the Biden administration to make available will go toward helping the region meet the challenges ahead.”

According to the Bureau of Reclamation, this year’s water allocation to the Klamath Project includes 230,000 acre-feet from Upper Klamath Lake, 35,000 acre-feet from Gerber Reservoir, and 35,000 to 40,000 acre-feet from Clear Lake Reservoir. This allocation comes from winter and spring runoff as well as the anticipated remaining inflows.

Additionally Klamath Basin communities will see $8.5 million in drought relief aid and $5 million in technical assistance for Klamath Basin Tribes affected by prolonged drought.

“We are encouraged by the progress that Tribes and farmers in the basin have made in recent months, including the historic agreement between the Klamath Tribes, Yurok Tribe, Karuk Tribe, and Klamath Water Users Association, as well as the infusion of $72 million in new federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for the basin’s recovery,” the senators’ statement said.

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