Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Klamath Project water flows, farmers press on
Published April 28, 2004
Klamath Project water is flowing, and at least some
growers are optimistic that water won't be shut off,
as it nearly was last June.
Steve Kandra gets his water from the Tulelake
Irrigation District, and has been irrigating with
Project water for the past two weeks.
There was a lot of precipitation in April 2003, so
irrigators didn't have to water their fields that
month. Plus, some growers would have had difficulty
getting their machinery into the muddy fields.
Most decisions about what to plant were made in
February, Kandra said.
reported last week in the Herald and News, the
Bureau no longer has minimum lake levels it must
achieve at certain points during the summer.
Instead, the Bureau's lake level targets will slide
up and down according to how much water is flowing
into the lake as the season progresses.
When inflow failed to meet predictions, as it did
last June, the Bureau determined at one point it
would have to shut down irrigation for at least five
days in order to make a minimum lake level -
although it did not.
"Warmer temperatures are helping get the snow from
the mountains into the lake."
"There isn't 100 percent reliability (of water
supply), but you have to plant anyway," Bair said.
"You're either in this game or you quit and do
"Grain prices look good right now, that's a
promising crop," said Chin, who grows white wheat
and red wheat.
"Water prospects look decent, so we're planting the
same as last year," Chin said.
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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