Klamath Project 2008 Interim Operations Plan Released

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For Release: April 03, 2008

The Bureau of Reclamation today released its 2008 Interim Operations Plan for the Klamath Project (Project).  The plan is based upon current and expected hydrologic conditions derived from the April 1, 2008, Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) inflow forecast.  It is consistent with the Biological Opinion (BO) issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) on April 3, 2008, and the 2002 BO from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. District Court ruling CIV. NO CO2-2006 dated March 27, 2006.

From April 1 through September 30, 2008, the estimated Project irrigation water supply from Upper Klamath Lake is 400,000 acre-feet based upon the hydrological conditions existing on April 1, 2008.  This amount could be affected by other requirements and weather conditions.  At this time, the water year-type for the Klamath River is “Average.”  The year-type designation is determined from specific criteria in the NOAA BO and is based upon forecast and actual runoff, which are influenced by precipitation and temperature.  Generally, inflow forecasts after June 1 remain relatively stable for the remainder of the irrigation season, although inflows vary each month and the final year-type determination is not made until September 30.

Reclamation decided to release an interim plan based on the new BO received from the FWS and the 2002 NOAA BO while waiting for a new BO from NOAA.  Once the new NOAA BO is received, the interim plan will be reevaluated to see if 2008 operations are impacted.  Information regarding any changes will be made available as soon as possible.

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.  An Average water year is projected for 2008, and the Project expects to have a sufficient supply of water available to meet all Project responsibilities.  The 2008 Interim Operations Plan may be viewed at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/operations/ops_plan_interim_08.pdf

For more information, please contact Mr. Cecil Lesley at 541-880-2546 or clesley@mp.usbr.gov.

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