Reclamation Announces 2004 Klamath Basin Pilot Water Bank Program

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: January 16, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation is soliciting bids for the 2004 Pilot Water Bank. The Water Bank's purpose is to comply with the 2002 NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion on Klamath Project Operations. In 2004, the Biological Opinion calls for a water bank of 75,000 acre-feet.

As in 2003, the Water Bank will include forbearance of surface water use and substitution of groundwater use for surface water use. However, participation in 2004 is open to all users of surface water above Keno Dam, including non-Project users, but excluding Federal lease lands. The 2004 Water Bank program allows for greater flexibility in land use practices.

Selection will be performed through a bidding process. The price bid per acre, combined with estimated water savings based on crop and soil types, will be used to rank applications by price per acre-foot of water. Reclamation will select applications reflecting the lowest cost per acre-foot.

Bid and application materials are being mailed to those who applied for the 2003 Water Bank. An application information sheet and a final bid and application form are available from Reclamation's Klamath Basin Area Office at 6600 Washburn Way in Klamath Falls and online at:

The application period for the Water Bank will begin on Monday, January 19, 2004. All applications must be received in the Klamath Basin Area Office no later than 4 p.m., Friday, February 6, 2004.

For further information or questions contact Phil Graf at 541-883-6935 or via e-mail at, or Gary Baker at the same number or via e-mail at

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.