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Shouldn’t water in storage go to agriculture, refuges?
Herald and News Letter to the editor  by James Ottoman, Klamath Falls March 21, 2010
   A few years after the 2001 cutoff of irrigation water from Upper Klamath Lake to the Klamath Project and Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuges, the National Academy of Science presented an opinion that concluded it had been unnecessary to maintain the high levels of water in the lake, which caused the shutoff.
   In a normal year of precipitation with a flow of 1 million acre feet, the upper lake will fill three times.
   In the recent past, 100,000 acres of agricultural land in the Upper Klamath Lake area has been converted to wetlands and this has increased the storage capacity, but the larger surface also increased the evaporation rate.
   The present year, 2010, is year 2001 all over again and there is talk of once again shutting off water to agriculture and the refuges. Shouldn’t this water in storage be allocated for use to agriculture and refuges?  
   Potato farmers need water for 90 days out of the 365 and it needs to start early in the year — not turned on in July.
   Our government has spent millions of dollars in the Klamath Basin on a fish screen for the A Canal, a fish ladder on the Link River Dam and removal of the Chiloquin Dam to protect the fish.
   When is enough, enough?
   James Ottoman
   Klamath Falls
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