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Funding available for domestic, municipal wells (until Dec 31)
By SARA HOTTMAN, Herald and News 12/16/10
Federal drought relief funding is available to help well owners on and around the Klamath Reclamation Project who were peripherally affected by the summer water shortage.
The 2010 Domestic and Municipal Well Mitigation Program offers a portion of $10 million in federal drought relief to domestic and municipal well owners who need to deepen their wells following increased agricultural well use during the growing season.
Federal agencies this year released only about 1/3 of the average amount of water allocated for Klamath Reclamation Project irrigators. No more water was released in order to keep water bodies at levels mandated by biological opinions intended to protect endangered fish.
As a result, many Project irrigators resorted to wells.
The shift to groundwater stressed the aquifer, and combined with below-average precipitation, caused a 25- to 30-foot drop in some groundwater aquifers, Klamath Water and Power Agency officials said.
Domestic and municipal wells draw water from aquifers for showers, cooking and drinking.
Merrill residents went without water for several days in July as the city deepened the municipal well because of an aquifer drop. Many domestic well users Basin-wide also had to deepen their wells, or will have to since underground aquifers take time to replenish. Well deepening can cost thousands of dollars.
“The guys I work for felt strongly that their neighbors and communities not go without when they were impacted,” Greg Addington, director of Klamath Water Users Association, said in an e-mail.
The organization lobbied to get the drought relief funding KWAPA administers.
Through the cost-sharing program , KWAPA will reimburse 75 percent of well work, up to $10,000.
Applications for the $3.6 million program are due to KWAPA by noon on Dec. 31. So far, 50 well owners have submitted applications. The agency has money for at least 400, said Julie Matthews with KWAPA.
“We’ll have domestic wells fixed so in the future, groundwater pumping does not impact domestic well users, doesn’t cut them off,” KWAPA director Hollie Cannon said when the relief money was awarded.
Page Updated: Wednesday December 22, 2010 02:39 AM Pacific
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