Basin urged to make drought plans
Klamath Basin leaders need to develop a drought management plan to handle below-average water years, a U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service official said Tuesday.
The Basin’s regular threat of drought and its effects on the environment and economy make such a plan a definite need, Ron Larson told members of the Klamath County Natural Resource Advisory Council.
“We haven’t looked at drought as something we can prepare for,” he said. “It prevents anything substantial from being done.”
Research of tree rings indicate that droughts are cyclical and often occur for a number of years in a row, Larson said. Occurrences are still hard to predict, as are the extent of the effects, and leads to communities panicking about a drought or being apathetic in times of plentiful supplies.
If local leaders develop a drought plan for the Basin, Larson said it will need to account for various factors, including cost effectiveness, adaptability and fair treatment of all water users and needs.
Council member Greg Addington of the Klamath Water Users Association asked Larson what action could be taken to address the situation.
Larson said he had no specific recommendation and was just doing his best to inform people of the plan’s need. In time, as leaders and community members meet about similar water issues, a drought plan also will be considered.
“Clearly, it’s going to take a lot of work,” he said.