Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
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own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
United States Department of the
Interior BUREAU OF RECLAMATION
KO-100 AUG 04 2021
Mr. Mark Sturtevant
Subject: Request for PacifiCorp Temporary Water Borrow for Tule Lake Sump 1B
Dear Mr. Sturtevant:
The drought conditions in the Klamath Basin have raised concerns about the availability of adequate water supplies in Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Due to critically dry hydrologic conditions, action is needed to protect migratory waterfowl, endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers, and the habitat that Tulelake Sump 1B provides these species. In order to help mitigate the drought conditions, Reclamation, USFWS, NMFS, and PacifiCorp have informally discussed the potential of borrowing water from PacifiCorp’s Copco and Iron Gate reservoirs to help maintain elevations in Sump 1B through this fall.
At this time, Reclamation requests that PacifiCorp draw down reservoir storage by 10,000 (AF), which will allow Reclamation and Tulelake Irrigation District (TID) to use the volume to help support Sump 1B elevations. Reclamation requests that this operation commence as soon as practicable, at a rate of approximately 150 cubic feet per second (cfs). At a rate of 150 cfs, the 10,000 AF transfer will take about 34 days to complete.
The borrowed water would be directed towards Sump 1B by reducing releases from Keno Dam by 150 cfs while maintaining Link River Dam discharges. This 150 cfs of excess water in Keno Reservoir would move by gravity from Keno Reservoir through the Lost River Diversion Channel (LRDC) to Station 48, where it would be conveyed through the Lost River to Anderson-Rose Dam. TID would then route the flows through its canals and into Sump 1B. Throughout this action, PacifiCorp would provide about 150 cfs per day out of reservoir storage to support flows in the Klamath River downstream of Iron Gate Dam.
Assuming transfer losses of 50 cfs, Reclamation’s modeling indicates that borrowing 10,000 AF would result in a Sump 1B depth of 3.3 feet in early October. The borrowed volume will be paid back from Lost River flows after the irrigation season comes to an end in the Lost River; this is
currently anticipated to occur in late September or early October. For comparison, in 2018 LRDC flows averaged 100 cfs in October, 77 cfs in November, 88 cfs in December, and 168 cfs in January (2019). Assuming the lowest flow rate of 77 cfs (about 150 AF/day), repayment of 10,000 AF would take about 65 days to complete. To measure return flows, Reclamation will use the Tingley gage on LRDC and make additional flow measurements in the field for calibration. The Tingley gage is located close to the confluence with the Klamath River and is representative of the LRDC flow actually reaching the river.
KBAO understands the physical and logistical challenges inherent to this request and is therefore appreciative of PacifiCorp's willingness to facilitate the borrowing schedule as requested.
Please reach out to Dave Felstul of my staff if you have questions about the borrowing request or payback schedule.
cc: Demian Ebert
Klamath Program Manager
Pacific Power – Hydro Resources
Renewable Energy Development
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