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Drought declared in Klamath

Herald and News 4/7/15

    Oregon Gov. Kate Brown declared drought in Klamath and two other counties on Monday.

   All told, Klamath, Lake, Crook, Harney and Malheur   counties have been declared in drought by the state.

   “Oregon’s unusually warm and dry winter has potentially dire consequences,” Brown said in a press release Monday. “By   enlisting the support of our state and federal partners, we will be best able to ensure the safety of the residents of Crook, Harney, and Klamath counties, as well as their livelihoods and property.”   Klamath County declared its own drought on March 17. That’s the same week Brown declared droughts in Lake and Malheur counties.

   The National Drought Mitigation   Center classifies droughts on a scale starting with abnormally dry and increasing to moderate drought, severe drought, extreme drought and exceptional drought.        This year, Klamath County’s drought rates as “extreme,” while last year, it was listed as “severe.”

   After Klamath County declared, it asked the Oregon Drought Council to take action, which forwarded the recommendation on to the governor.

   “The governor’s drought declaration allows   increased flexibility in how water is managed to ensure that limited supplies are used as efficiently as possible,” Monday’s press release said. “In addition, the governor is working with Oregon’s federal delegation, state agencies, local governments, and other partners to coordinate efforts and mobilize actions to address   drought-related issues.”

   Brown declared the drought because of low snowpack and water this winter.

   As of Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service listed the Klamath Basin’s snow water equivalent at 8 percent.



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