SISKIYOU COUNTY, Calif. — Despite a wet winter in Southern Oregon and Northern California, the Klamath Basin remains in an extensive, multi-year drought.
To conserve water, The Bureau of Reclamation announced flows from Iron Gate Dam into the Klamath River will be reduced by approximately 11%, effective immediately.
"Despite storm events experienced across Oregon and California in late December and early January, the hydrology of the Klamath Basin continues to be hampered by the effects of a multi-year drought," said the Bureau in a statement.
The flows will then be managed through April 1, while seeking technical input received through weekly Tribal Nation and stakeholder meetings.
The operational change will be informed by ongoing real-time environmental and hydrologic monitoring.
"The adaptive management approach aims to address limited available water supply in the Klamath Basin, given potential future hydrology scenarios and competing needs for listed species in Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River," the Bureau said.
News10 reached out to the Bureau of Reclamation regarding how and why that decision was made and received the following statement:
The Klamath Basin is facing the real potential for a fourth consecutive year of extraordinarily dry conditions. The Bureau of Reclamation’s proactive measures to adaptively manage Klamath River flows are designed to create springtime conditions that mitigate risks to species and the environment, while we also work for agricultural communities. By acting now, we are able to contribute to a common goal of seeing an upwards trajectory of Upper Klamath Lake’s elevation, which is critical should dry conditions return this spring. Reclamation remains committed to working with Tribes, stakeholders, and our federal partners to identify solutions to lessen the impacts of unprecedented drought.