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Reclamation expects to make full deliveries to irrigators

By STEVE KADEL Herald and News 4/13/07

   There’s good news for the Klamath Reclamation Project irrigators in the Bureau of Reclamation’s 2007 water forecast.
   Despite predicting a below average water year, the agency believes there will be enough water to meet Project responsibilities.
   “We can meet all our obligations for (tribal) trust issues and for endangered species and provide enough water for our irrigators,” said Jeffrey McCracken of the BOR’s mid-Pacific region.
   Pablo Arroyave, area manager for BOR’s Klamath Basin area office, agreed with that assessment.
   “We are pleased to be able to report that the water level in Clear Lake Reservoir is sufficient to make full deliveries to irrigators,” he said. “Deliveries from Gerber Reservoir will also meet agricultural needs this year.”
   The BOR expects to provide about 400,000 acre-feet of water from Upper Klamath Lake to Project irrigators from April 1 through Sept. 30, McCracken said.
   That volume is anticipated after factoring in requirements for Klamath Lake’s water level and the flows that must go downstream for salmon. Those requirements are mandated in biological opinions from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
   BOR also can call on reserves of up to 100,000 acre-feet of supplemental water, if required, through a water bank program consisting of off-stream storage, land idling, and ground-water pumping.
   More information about the Klamath Project 2007 operations plan is available at: www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/.
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