Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Water forecasts bode a tight supply this season
H&N Staff Writer
"It isn't good," said
Dave Solem, manager of the Klamath Irrigation
District. "Things haven't gotten any better. Time is
getting shorter now for things to recover."
As in the first Basin
forecast released at the start of the new year,
streamflow looks to be well below average.
There are now two more
streamflow forecasts before the April 1 forecast,
which is a key piece in the Project officials'
determination of year type for Upper Klamath Lake
and the Klamath River. The year type will come out
in the Bureau's operation plan in early April.
Although snow and rain
didn't develop as Project officials had hoped, there
still is time for a turnaround.
But since the forecasts
started a month and a half ago, the streamflow
predictions have been going down. They have dropped
by 25,000 acre-feet in each of the two weeks between
the three forecasts made so far.
Water users need to be
ready if the weather doesn't cooperate with
improving streamflow forecasts, he said. They should
plan their crops accordingly and be prepared to take
As of Tuesday, the
Basin's snowpack was at 50 percent of average.
Those would include
spring rains and summer showers.
"If inflows drop off
even earlier, like in May, then it is going to get
very serious," he said.
"Unfortunately, we have
to use something that is not a very good tool," he
"It is real dependent
on the winter being a good winter, and if it's not,
it's tough to get through," Sabo said.
Solem said the weather
conditions have not been what anybody expected or
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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