Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
Water bank assets run low
Published May 14, 2004
Fishermen work the Klamath River a few miles below Iron Gate Dam last fall. The Bureau of Reclamation is tapping a "water bank" to keep flows up for salmon, but the bank's vault is emptying quickly. Fishery interests are concerned about the possibility of low flows this summer.
With the start of summer still more than a month
away, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has already
committed more than half the extra water set aside
to protect salmon in the lower Klamath River.
"It's going to be exciting later this year," said
Dave Sabo, manager of the Klamath Reclamation
make water available for the water bank, the Bureau
pays irrigators to leave farmland idle or to use
well water instead of canal water.
the end of May, another 30,000 acre-feet of
water-bank storage will have been used.
Among them is the water year type, which the Bureau
changed last week from "below average" to "dry." The
change would have allowed the Bureau to cut river
flows from about 1,000 cubic feet per second to
about 730 cfs.
Flows are being reduced, and by this weekend will be
around 1,100 cfs. They will remain at that level
through the end of May.
Fishery interests are concerned about the
possibility of low flows in September, when
temperatures are hot and adult salmon are running
This year's water bank will also end up costing a
half a million dollars more than officials had
The Bureau will end up spending $5.1 million for the project that was budgeted for $4.6 million.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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