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Mid-Pacific Region
Sacramento, Calif.
Media Contact:
Jeffrey McCracken
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Released On: April 09, 2007

Klamath Project 2007 Operations Plan Released; Supplies Expected to Meet all Responsibilities

The Bureau of Reclamation today released its 2007 Operations Plan for the Klamath Project (Project).  The plan is based upon current and expected hydrologic conditions derived from the April 5, 2007, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) inflow forecast.  It is consistent with the Biological Opinions issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), as well as the U.S. District Court ruling CIV. NO CO2-2006 SBA dated March 27, 2006.

The Operations Plan provides an estimate of Project water supply as well as anticipated lake elevations and river flows for the coming year.  It is used by agricultural water users, Klamath Basin Tribes, national wildlife refuges, and others as a planning tool.  Although the projection is for a Below Average water year, the Project expects to have a sufficient supply of water available to meet all Project responsibilities.  

“We are pleased to be able to report that the water level in Clear Lake Reservoir is sufficient to make full deliveries to irrigators.  Deliveries from Gerber Reservoir will also meet agricultural needs this year,” said Mr. Pablo Arroyave, Area Manager for the Klamath Basin Area Office.

The estimated Project irrigation water supply from Upper Klamath Lake from April 1 through September 30, 2007, is 400,000 acre-feet based on the hydrologic conditions on April 1, 2007.  This amount could be affected by weather conditions and other requirements.  The NRCS estimated inflow forecast for Upper Klamath Lake is 360,000 acre-feet from April 1 through September 30.  At this time, the water-year type for both Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River is Below Average.  The year-type designations are determined from specific criteria in the Biological Opinions and are based upon forecast and actual runoff, which are influenced by precipitation and temperature.  Since inflow varies each month, uncertainty exists about the final year-type determination, which is made on September 30.  Generally, inflow forecasts after June 1 remain relatively stable for the remainder of the irrigation season.

As authorized in the Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2000, Reclamation has developed access to supplemental water of up to 100,000 acre-feet, if it is required, to meet Project needs.  Water that may be acquired through a recent Water Supply Enhancement Study (WSES) could be used to supplement Project water supplies if conditions warrant.  As in the past with the water banking program, the WSES water comprises off-stream storage, land idling, and ground-water pumping.  

The Klamath Project 2007 Operations Plan may be viewed at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/.  For more information, please contact Mr. Cecil Lesley at 541-880-2546 or clesley@mp.usbr.gov.

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