Klamath Falls, Ore. – Water is now flowing to farmers and ranchers on the Klamath Reclamation Project, as the headgates to the ‘A’ canal were opened Friday.
A flick of the switch marks the start of irrigation season on the Klamath Project.
Klamath Irrigation District Watermaster Travis Marcott says it takes about two weeks to charge the canals before water deliveries are made. “We have to build all of the canals up slow, and it involves flushing all of the weeds and debris from the winter storms out of the canals.”
“We bring them up slowly so there’s no erosion,” added District Manager John Wolf. “And, it gives us time to spot any potential problems.”
The water will be used to grow crops on nearly 60,000 acres of farm land.
“This water travels through roughly 200 miles of canals and laterals,” said Marcott. “Clear down into California, south of Malin.”
While it’s been a wet winter, Wolf notes that it’s up to the Bureau of Reclamation how long the water will flow, or how much water farmers will get. “We won’t know until the 10th (of April) when they release their final figures, but we’re anticipating a really good year for water.”
And after several dry years, that’s good news for farmers.
Preparations for irrigation season on the Klamath Project began back in October, when canals were drained and maintenance work began.