News Release Archive

Reclamation Releases 2016 Klamath Project Water Allocation and Operations Plan

Media Contact: Shane Hunt, 916-978-5100, shunt@usbr.gov

For Release: April 08, 2016

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation released its 2016 Operations Plan for the Klamath Project. The Plan is based upon the expected hydrologic conditions from the April 1 Natural Resource Conservation Service inflow forecast and current reservoir elevations.

“After four years of drought, Klamath Project water users are facing a close-to-average water year,” said David Murillo, Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region Director. “This is the most water available for delivery since 2011 and is a positive change.”

The Plan outlines water deliveries for the 2016 irrigation season, for more than 200,000 acres in northern California and southern Oregon. The Plan provides an estimate of the available water supply for the Project, the volume of water to be released to the Klamath River for coho salmon, and the water supply to be reserved in Upper Klamath Lake for Lost River and shortnose suckers as consistent with the 2013 Biological Opinion on Klamath Project Operations. Additionally, the Operations Plan is used by agricultural water users, Klamath Basin tribes, national wildlife refuge managers and others as a planning and informational tool.

As of April 1, the snow pack was 113 percent of average and the total precipitation was 119 percent of average. This is welcome news for irrigators after several years of drought and water shortages, and is the first time Klamath Basin has had a near-normal water season since the Joint Biological Opinion went into effect in 2013.

2016 Operations Plan

As of April 5, UKL had an elevation of 4,142.90 feet, resulting in approximately 482,250 acre-feet of storage. The NRCS April 1st forecast for inflows to UKL from April 1 to September 30 is 430,000 acre-feet, about 90 percent of average inflow. Under these conditions, Project irrigation supply from UKL for the 2016 irrigation season is expected to be 388,680 acre-feet, which is full supply.

Based on current lake levels and projected inflows for Clear Lake and Gerber reservoirs, the anticipated water supplies available for the 2016 irrigation season are 29,000 acre-feet from Clear Lake Reservoir, 83 percent of full supply, and approximately 35,000 acre-feet from Gerber Reservoir, 100 percent of full supply.

The Operations Plan encourages water conservation to ensure available water supply throughout the season. Reclamation will manage Project deliveries throughout the irrigation season, such that requirements under the 2013 Biological Opinion are met.

The Klamath Project’s 2016 Operations Plan is available http://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/water-year.html. If you encounter problems accessing the documents, please call 916-978-5100 (TTY 800-877-8339) or email mppublicaffairs@usbr.gov.

For more information, please contact Jason Cameron at 541-883-6935 or jcameron@usbr.gov.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.