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Rae Olson, Bureau of Reclamation Public Affairs Officer, describes the Bureau's Natural Flow Study,

written for KBC 12/19/05

A study of the effects of agricultural development on the Natural Flow
of the Upper Klamath River is now available on the website of
Reclamation's Klamath Basin Area Office at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/,
or by calling the Klamath Project Office at 541-883-6935. 

The Natural Flow study provides a modeling tool that will estimate the
monthly natural flow in the Upper Klamath River Basin, including
tributaries, without agricultural development.  The model will help to
evaluate the changes in the water budget (the relationship between
inflow and outflow of water throughout the Basin) before agricultural
development.  Records used include both stream gauging flow histories
and climatological records for stations within the study area.  Other
sources of data include hydrology, historical maps, natural vegetation
and engineering.

This complex scientific tool is being reviewed for confirmation as a
sound method of analysis by the National Academy of Sciences.  Its
review will be complete by June 2007.  The cost of the study was
$750,000.

The report will allow researchers to estimate the natural flow of the
upper Klamath River above Keno, Oregon, primarily in Klamath County,
with some areas of Siskiyou and Modoc Counties in California.  The study
area also includes the Sprague, Williamson and Wood River basins, as
well as Upper Klamath and Lower Klamath Lakes.

A draft of the report was released for review and comment in December
2003.  Those comments lead to a new reorganized draft report completed
in December 2004.  In early 2005, a workgroup representing an array of
Klamath Basin interests was convened by Reclamation.  The workgroup met
in March, April and September, to discuss technical aspects of the
study.  This November 2005 report addresses comments and incorporates
data from all previous meetings. 

The Klamath Basin Area Office was the project manager, supporting a
team of scientists including Reclamation's Denver Technical Services
staff and scientists from interested parties including hydrologists,
engineers, mathematicians, modelers, biologists, botanists and wetlands
specialists.

Rae Olsen
Public Affairs Officer
Klamath Basin Area Office
U. S. Bureau of Reclamation
6600 Washburn
Klamath Falls, OR  97603
541.880.2543
 

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