Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Board of

Klamath County Commissioners

305 Main Street, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601

541.883.5100 Fax 541.883.5163

e-mail: bocc@co.klamath.or.us

15 January 2004


In working to solve the water issues of the Klamath River system and especially the Upper Klamath Basin, the one thing that most agree on is the need for more water. Over the years there have been many proposals for additional water storage in the Upper Klamath Basin. Many of those proposals were originally dismissed because there was not the compelling need for more water created by the Endangered Species Act.

One proposed storage project would develop an area known as Long Lake. An enclosed long narrow valley just southwest of Upper Klamath Lake, Long Lake Valley has an average elevation of 4,260 feet. The US Bureau of Reclamation did a study of the proposal in the mid to late 1980ís but their findings were inconclusive and suggested that more study would be required to determine the projectís feasibility. That study also linked Long Lake to other, more expensive reservoir sites. It is proposed that Long Lake be studied independently.

It has been suggested that by using pumped storage, Long Lake could store 350,000 acre-feet of water annually without the construction of a dam. The water depth would average approximately 200 feet, providing stored water at a significantly cooler temperature and with less evaporative loss than Upper Klamath Lake.

Some of the other suggested benefits of the Long Lake project include:

  • Capability to deliver colder water to the Klamath River on demand
  • Minimal environmental impact
  • Opportunity to stabilize both Klamath Lake levels and Klamath River flows
  • Sufficient quantity to make an impact by utilizing excess winter flood waters
  • 8 to 10 times the storage volume of other storage proposals.

This project may have the potential to be a significant part of the overall solution for water issues in the Klamath Basin. However, for that to be determined, the project needs to be studied at a sufficient level of detail.

To date, Klamath County has received letters of support for the studies from the following organizations, businesses and governmental entities:

The Klamath Tribes Jeld-Wen U.S. Timberlands

Klamath Irrigation District Klamath Water Users Association Tulelake Growers Association

Klamath County Chamber of Commerce Hoopa Tribe Water for Life, Inc.

Tulelake Chamber of Commerce Shasta View Irrigation District Tulelake Irrigation District

Klamath County Farm Bureau Oregon Farm Bureau Modoc County Farm Bureau

Horsefly Irrigation District City of Klamath Falls Modoc County (CA) Supervisors

Siskiyou County (CA) Supervisors Jackson County (OR) Commissioners Del Norte County (CA) Supervisors Clough Oil Company Association of Oregon Counties Association of O & C Counties Klamath Soil & Water Cons. District .

For further information, please contact the Klamath County Commissionersí office at 541-883-5100.







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