Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Water bank applications flood Bureau
A late surge of applications from irrigators who
want to take part in the U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation's water bank has left the Bureau
"cautiously optimistic" that it will meet its
goal. The Bureau wants to idle enough land in the
Klamath Reclamation Project to set aside 50,000
acre-feet to benefit coho salmon in the lower
In all, 234 applications were turned in to the
Bureau's Klamath Falls office by the deadline
Last year, the Bureau received bids ranging up to
$702 per acre-foot, and accepted bids ranging from
$63.75 to $200. The average bid accepted per
acre-foot was $146 for 75,000 acre-feet, and 4,364
acres in the Project were idled. Most of the water
for the water bank came from wells, rather than
the Project's irrigation system.
"I would say that we are cautiously optimistic
that the response from the irrigator community
will help us make our 100,000 acre-foot
requirement," Olsen said.
Bureau staffers went to the Tulelake and Klamath
irrigation district offices to help farmers and
ranchers with their applications, which boosted
numbers, officials said. There also was a rush of
applications in the days just before the deadline.
The water bank program is required by the National
Marine Fisheries Service to boost flows down the
Klamath River for threatened coho salmon. The rest
of the water bank would come from 25,000 acre-feet
of well water, 10,000 acre-feet from land idling
above Upper Klamath Lake and 15,000 acre-feet from
storage on national wildlife refuges.
This information and much more that you need to know about the ESA, the Klamath Basin, and private property rights can be found at The Klamath Bucket Brigade's website - http://www.klamathbucketbrigade.org/ -- please visit today.
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Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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