Klamath Falls Water Expectations Improved Over 2003

2004 Operations Plan Released at Klamath Water Users Association Meeting

Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: April 08, 2004

"I am cautiously optimistic that this year will be an improvement over 2003," declared Dave Sabo, Bureau of Reclamation Area Manager for the Klamath Basin.

"The operations plan provides an estimate of project water supply," explained Sabo, "it is used by agricultural water users, Klamath Basin Tribes, national wildlife refuges and others as a planning tool."

The NRCS forecast is 420,000 acre-feet estimated inflow forecast for Upper Klamath Lake from April 1 through September 30, 2004. Reclamation is required to calculate lake inflow and river inflow from the separate criteria of the two biological opinions. Thus, the water year type applicable to Upper Klamath Lake is Below Average. These figures will fluctuate depending upon actual runoff, rain and temperature. By June 1st, the forecast should be stable for the remainder of the irrigation season.

Beginning on April 1, and extending throughout the irrigation season of each year, Reclamation will release water bank water to supplement river flows according to the flow schedule developed with input from the Tribes and agreed upon between NOAA Fisheries and Reclamation. Under an agreement with NOAA Fisheries and Reclamation, should spills occur; the water will count towards meeting water bank requirements.

The minimum estimated Project water supply for irrigation from Upper Klamath Lake from April 1 through September 30 is 335,000 acre-feet based upon the hydrological conditions existing on April 1. This may be reduced by the amount of water acquired for the water bank through dry land operations and substitution of groundwater for Project water.

The estimated amount of water from Upper Klamath Lake for delivery to national wildlife refuges from April through October 2004 will be 25,000 acre-feet. This was estimated in relation to historic deliveries to refuges.

The estimated Project water supply for irrigation in the East side delivery area, from Gerber Reservoir and Clear Lake is 72,320 acre-feet. The Operations Plan for 2004 is posted on the web at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/.

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Klamath Falls Water Expectations Improved Over 2003