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Outflows to Upper Klamath Lake over 100% of average --- Inflows around 25% of average

KID Update July 22, 2022

Despite the evaluation of a third year of drought and assessing natural conditions which would have pre-empted water flowing out of Upper Klamath Lake during dry periods such as we are currently experiencing, a great deal of water is being unnecessarily and unnaturally evacuated from the Klamath Basin into the Klamath River canyon below Keno.
Prior to the development of the Klamath Project, he natural Keno reef would have backed up any water coming out of Link River (highly unlikely given the current conditions) allowing no less than 188,000 acre-feet of water to evaporate from the Klamath River system in the Lower Klamath Lake removing this water from any available supply for down river use. Less than 20,000 acre feet of this water is anticipated to return to the area in 2022 where 188,000 acre-feet would have naturally evaporated from.
The natural lakes of Lower Klamath, Tule, TIngley, Spring, and the Lost River Slough covering over 188,000 acres would have evaporated no less than 3 acre feet of water per acre across the entire surface area. The fact that no less than 564,000 acre feet of water evaporated from these wetlands is ignored by hydrologists in their modeling of natural conditions. Water that would not have been available to the Klamath River canyon below Keno. Less than 14% of the 564,000 acre feet of water which naturally would have evaporated annually from these 188,000 acres will be returned in 2022.
Under natural conditions these water bodies would evaporate signifigant amounts of water in July and August which in turn would naturally create localized weather events including thunderstorms and rain showers providing moisture in the area of the 2021 Bootleg fire and created cooler air temperatures around the basin...thus cooler water temperatures...thus later algae blooms.
So far this season, there has not been enough evaporation to recreate these naturally occurring weather patterns and water temperatures in the remaining water bodies are increasing resulting in earlier toxic algae blooms.
Between 1 March and 30 September, no less than 407,400 acre feet will be released to the Klamath River canyon below Keno (well over 100% of average. Given natural conditions, the amount would be closer to 75,000 acre feet under natural conditions if we compare 2022 with 1931) when inflows to Upper Klamath Lake are measured at under 25% for most of the past 3 years.



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