Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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Water forecasts worsen
Government estimates show inflow to Upper Klamath
Lake is likely to be lower this summer than it was
in 2001, when the Bureau of Reclamation canceled
deliveries of water to much of the Klamath
The most recent Natural Resources Conservation
Service streamflow prediction, issued Monday, calls
for 210,000 acre-feet of water, or 41 percent of
average, to flow into Upper Klamath Lake from April
through September. In summer 2001, actual inflow was
measured at 231,000 acre-feet.
"I'd say overall conditions are worse than they were
in 2001," said Tom Perkins, a hydrologist with the
Conservation Service. "It's just looking pretty
While March is usually a month when the mountain
snowpack is still building, it has been shrinking
because of warm days, lots of sunshine and no new
The snowpack Thursday was at 29 percent of normal
for this time of year, down from 30 percent the day
before. With every passing sunny day, the snowpack
has been dropping a percentage point or two.
The Conservation Service has issued streamflow
forecasts every two weeks since the start of the
the dry weather trend continues, Perkins said, the
April forecast will be worse yet, because each
forecast is based on an assumption that normal
precipitation will fall.
"So if that doesn't happen, the forecast could go
lower," Perkins said.
Water yield expected from April through September,
in acre-feet, based on watershed conditions on March
inflow inflow average in 2001
Williamson River 180,000 385,000 47 213,000
Clear Lake 16,200 47,700 34 5,400
Source: Natural Resources Conservation Service
Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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