Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.
States Department of the Interior
KO-100 AUG 4 2021
VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL ONLY
To: Field Supervisor, U.S. Fish and
Subject: Water Transfer to Tule Lake Sump 1B
Thank you for your letter regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s request that Reclamation coordinate with PacifiCorp to provide up to 10,000 acre-feet (AF) of water stored in PacifiCorp reservoirs to Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge Sump 1B. Due to critically dry hydrologic conditions, immediate action is needed to protect endangered Lost River and shortnose suckers, migratory waterfowl, and the habitat that Tulelake Sump 1B provides these species.
Current hydrologic modeling indicates that if no action is taken to increase water storage in Sump 1B, water depth in the sump will drop as low as 0.5 feet by early October. To help ameliorate the poor conditions in Sump 1B, Reclamation plans to coordinate with PacifiCorp to provide 10,000 AF of available water to Sump 1B. By providing 10,000 AF, Reclamation’s modeling indicates that the Sump depth in early October would be approximately 3.3 feet, measurably improving the quality and diversity of habitat for waterfowl and suckers and likely avoiding anticipated impacts to these species.
Reclamation anticipates that the volume borrowed from PacifiCorp reservoirs will be transferred as soon as practicable, but no later than August 6, and occur at the rate of approximately 150 cfs. The borrowed water would be directed through the Lost River Diversion Channel (LRDC) to Station 48, where it would be conveyed through the Lost River to Anderson-Rose Dam. Tulelake Irrigation District (TID) would then route the flows through its canals and into Sump 1B. Reclamation will coordinate with TID such that irrigation from the Sump 1B during and after the water transfer results in a net zero impact to water storage within the Sump.
This action will be a time-limited borrow of water from PacifiCorp reservoirs and will be repaid in full on a schedule to be determined by Reclamation and PacifiCorp. Reclamation will work with TID to effect repayment of the water borrowed from PacifiCorp reservoirs. The borrowed volume will be paid back from flood flows or Lost River flows after the irrigation season comes to an end in the Lost River. Reclamation does not anticipate there to be impacts to Upper Klamath Lake elevations or changes in Klamath River flows at Iron Gate Dam, as identified in the 2021 adjusted Temporary Operations Plan, the 2020 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Biological Opinion or the 2019 National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion as a result of this transfer. Reclamation and the Service will coordinate with PacifiCorp to monitor relevant water storage data to ensure that both the borrow and the repayment are conducted as expected.
Thank you for your coordination throughout the extraordinary hydrologic conditions of the 2021 spring/summer operating season.
Please contact Dave Felstul of my staff if you have any questions by phone at (541) 880-2550 or by email at email@example.com .
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