Reclamation invests in new science updates for
Bureau of Reclamation News Release: July 29, 2020
The sun rising over upper Klamath Lake near
Klamath Falls, Oregon.
KLAMATH FALLS, Ore.
– In response to Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt and
Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman’s recent visit with
Klamath Basin ranchers, farmers, tribes and community officials,
Reclamation is launching a new science initiative to inform
Klamath Project operations. The project supplies water to more
than 230,000 acres of irrigated farmland along the border
between Oregon and California. Updated science will improve
water supply forecasting, operations planning and modeling.
“We heard firsthand from the community on the best path forward
to address longstanding water challenges,” said
Commissioner Burman. “Reclamation is launching a fresh
approach with an initial $1.2 million investment in applied
science projects. These projects will improve our understanding
of natural stream flows and the relationship between project
operations and aquatic ecosystems in the Klamath Basin.”
“The Klamath Basin will benefit greatly from the Bureau of
Reclamation’s investment in new science for the Klamath Project.
I am grateful that Secretary Bernhardt, who recently visited the
Basin, continues to look out for the farmers, ranchers, tribes
and the surrounding community of the Basin,” said
Congressman Greg Walden (OR). “This new funding will
support science-based initiatives that will help get us closer
to finding a solution for the Basin that benefits the farmers,
fish and tribes. I look forward to continuing to work with
Secretary Bernhardt and the Trump Administration on finding a
solution to the decades old Klamath Basin Water Crisis, and I
applaud their steadfast commitment to this issue.”
“Outdated science has contributed to year after year of water
allocation problems for the farmers and ranchers in the Basin,”said
Congressman Doug LaMalfa (CA). “I’m grateful for
Secretary Bernhardt and Commissioner Burman’s visit to the Basin
earlier this month, and the resulting commitment to update the
science that could provide incredible relief and more informed
decision-making to the Klamath Basin for decades to come.”
Reclamation will begin several important science initiatives:
Naturalized Flow Study. Update a 20-year-old assessment
of stream flows to address shortcomings identified in the
National Academy of Science’s 2004 and 2007 reviews,
as well as incorporating more recent data.
Level Science Update. Conduct focused evaluations of
emerging science in partnership with the United States
Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that will
improve the understanding of how Upper Klamath Lake elevations
affect endangered sucker fish.
Flow/Habitat Relationships in the Klamath River. Evaluate
contemporary methods of data collection and habitat modeling
techniques to tailor a plan to better support habitat and water
flow needs of juvenile Chinook and endangered coho salmon in the
Model Refinement. Refine a salmon survival model in
partnership with the USGS and USFWS that will update the Stream
Salmonid Simulator model, which is used to estimate juvenile
salmon survival during their migration to the sea.
Disease and Hydrology Data Portal. Develop a process
that will improve biologic data management on salmon disease in
the Klamath Basin.
These new science initiatives will be conducted in collaboration
with other agencies and stakeholders in the Klamath Basin.
“The activities announced will be helpful to all the
stakeholders in the Klamath Basin, and we are committed to
maintaining an ongoing dialogue,” said
Deputy Regional Director Jeff Payne. “My hope is that
the science process and the involvement by experts across
Reclamation and additional input from stakeholders will result
in some crucial, agreed-upon facts that are needed for decisions
and will also focus future investments on the highest priority
Visit https:https://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/programs/ops-planning.html for
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