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 Klamath Bucket Brigade weather report and letter from Christine Karas, Acting Manager of the Klamath Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation, 4/10/06. Thank you Barb Hall, KBB.

 

4/10/06  Rain, Rain go away, come again another day.  The weatherman is predicting that the only day this week without rain and snow showers here in the Upper Klamath Basin will be Thursday.

 

Klamath Basin Precipitation as Measured at the Klamath Falls Airport

 

Precipitation 24 hours

to 7 p.m., Sunday 4/9                          0.16

 

Precipitation April 1 - 9                       0.55

Normal precipitation April 1 -  9        0.26 

 

Since Jan 1, 2006                                 6.88

Normal since Jan 1                              4.29 

 

Since Oct 1, 2005                                13.58

Normal since Oct 1                               9.35

What all this extra moisture means down river is shown in this weeks USGS Flow Graphs.  The Klamath Project A Canal headgates were opened last Friday, April 7th but with high ground moisture from the Spring precipitation, farmers are not needing irrigation water at this time.  Every refuge is full, Gerber  Reservoir is spilling water into Lost River, and Clear Lake water elevation is slowing rising.

We posed the following question to the Christine Karas, Acting Manager of the Klamath Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation:

Large amounts of water are leaving the Upper Basin - are these flows counted towards the 2006 mandated 100,000 acre-feet Water Bank?

Ms. Karas' answer:

"The reservoir is filled according to a flood control curve.  Excess water cannot be stored because when the runoff comes you need space in the lake to put it, and don't want uncontrolled spill flooding the area downstream of the dam.
 
Water bank accounting, under phase I and II flows in the BO, began on April 1 so anything that went down before that would not count.  Water that was scheduled by NOAA as water bank water, that is, water in excess of the base flow requirement, would be counted toward the water bank regardless if it was spill water, or pumped or whatever, up to volume scheduled by NOAA.  We have not had a spill yet this year. 
 
But, all this is now a moot point anyway because Judge Armstrong's order put us in Phase III.  Phase III requires a given amount of release based on water year type.  If we have sufficient inflow to keep the lake up, meet irrigation demand and the releases, you don't need to use any water bank water.  The water bank in Phase III is to meet all Project purposes - not just to supplement downstream flows.  If we do not need all of the water bank's 100,000 AF to meet all Project purposes, we don't have to use it.  In phase I and II we had to provide 100,000 AF above base no matter what." 

 

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