Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Klamath draft drought plan released
Klamath River — With funding for one Klamath agreement in question, parties are still moving forward with activities under another.
The Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA), a multi-party agreement committing nearly a billion dollars to fisheries, river and agricultural interests, requires the adoption of a drought plan for the Klamath basin, and Friday the draft plan was sent to outlets by consultant Ed Sheets.
According to the draft, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit created by Congress in 1984, will administer a fund set up for drought response. To extract money from the fund, parties to the agreement must submit expenditure plans to the NFWF to cover activities in response to drought or extreme drought conditions as specified by the declaration entity, the Oregon Department of Water Resources.
Part of that response is described in the draft plan as the reduction of diversions of surface water. “The Restoration Agreement contemplates that Fund resources may be used to reduce diversion or use of surface water for consumptive purposes and maintain the water for Instream Use. ... Resources in the Fund should be made available to compensate Parties, parties in the Klamath Reclamation Project, or Participants who suffer injury as a consequence of performance of Extreme Drought measures under the Restoration Agreement and this Drought Plan.
“To this end, to the maximum extent feasible and consistent with this Drought Plan, sufficient sums should be maintained in the Fund on an ongoing basis to address such injury.”
The plan also calls on the Technical Advisory Team (TAT), created under the KBRA, to coordinate data gathering in the Klamath Basin in part to determine early signs of drought conditions, ultimately also offering recommendations as to whether or not drought or extreme drought conditions should be declared.
According to the plan, TAT monitoring of conditions at Upper Klamath Lake may inform the drought declaration. “Early detection of particularly dry conditions in the upper Klamath Basin may allow for adjustments to Upper Klamath Lake and Klamath River water management during the late fall, winter and early spring periods.”
The draft plan details a number of proposed measures to address drought conditions, including an assessment of instream flows and diversion offsets through “water leasing, forbearance, short-term transfers, appropriate groundwater substitution, or other actions to reduce diversions of water.”
Page Updated: Monday March 14, 2011 09:30 PM Pacific
Copyright © klamathbasincrisis.org, 2010, All Rights Reserved