Oregon governor declares drought in Klamath County
Kate Brown on Tuesday signed a drought declaration for Klamath County, directing the state Department of Agriculture and Water Resources Department to coordinate assistance for water users including farmers and ranchers.
“We know 2018 is shaping up to be a very difficult year for the Klamath Basin, and we’re closely monitoring drought conditions here and statewide,” Brown said in a prepared statement.
“I am committed to doing everything possible to make state resources available to provide immediate relief and assistance to water users throughout Klamath County.” Snowpack is just 45 percent of normal so far this winter in the Klamath Basin, according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Brown’s meeting with Klamath officials and committed federal assistance to the basin.
“As we brace for another record-breaking drought year, collaboration with our federal partners will also be critical as we work toward locally supported, long-term solutions,” Brown said.
Scott Cheyne, assistant manager of the Klamath Irrigation District, said the declaration is a step in the right direction.
The district received early irrigation information on March 9 from the Bureau of Reclamation, which emphasized that low snowpack and dry conditions have resulted in low water inflows to Upper Klamath Lake.
“We would like nothing more than to be able to provide our Klamath Project contractors with an allocation for the year as soon as possible, and I assure you we are all working hard to get there,” Nettleton said in a statement released by the bureau.
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