18 Mar 2010, 10:17pm
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Coordinated Federal Effort Allows for Klamath Project Water Deliveries in Drought-Stricken Basin

DOI News, March 18, 2010 [here]

Washington, D.C. - A coordinated Obama Administration effort will allow for meaningful water deliveries to Klamath Project water users, despite ongoing drought conditions that have severely impacted all Klamath Basin parties.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced expected Klamath Project allocations of 30 to 40 percent of average annual releases — approximately 150,000 acre feet — to be made available to Upper Klamath Lake irrigators.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) also announced that drought-impacted farmers in the Klamath Project will be eligible to apply for $2 million in special drought-related funding under its Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), $1 million for Oregon farmers and $1 million for California farmers. …

An additional 50,000 acre feet or more could be added through a water bank funded by the Bureau of Reclamation, boosting overall deliveries to approximately 50 percent of average annual deliveries. …

Reclamation and NMFS executed a new biological opinion that protects downstream fisheries, and based on its consultation with FWS and current modeling forecasts, Reclamation estimates that irrigation deliveries could begin as soon as May 15, depending upon additional precipitation in the Klamath Basin and Upper Klamath Lake levels. … [more]

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