U.S. Water News Online
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- An initiative is being developed to find ways to augment and increase the inadequate water resources of the Klamath Basin. The effort, the Klamath Basin Water Supply Initiative, is a partnership among the states of California and Oregon, the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Klamath Compact Commission. The initiative was created in an effort to minimize water shortages and improve habitat conditions in the highly-utilized Klamath Basin.
"The broad support of this effort by many interested stakeholders is a positive sign for the ultimate success in addressing this important, multi-state problem," said Assistant Interior Secretary for Water and Science Patricia J. Beneke. "Water augmentation is a key to addressing the needs of this water-short basin," Beneke continued. Her comments were echoed by the head of the Oregon Department of Water Resources, Martha Pagel, who stated, "Combining all our knowledge surrounding the difficult water issues facing the Klamath Basin will provide us a solid basis for successful resolution of those issues."
The basin's water supply cannot always meet the needs of listed species, tribal resource needs, contractual obligations to agriculture, and wildlife refuge needs, according to officials. Alice G. Kilham, chair of the Klamath Compact Commission, says potential solutions to the supply problems are broad and inclusive. "There are solutions that we believe will be embraced by all stakeholders as we move toward a public process to resolve this critical water supply and use issue," Kilham said.
Some of the potential solutions identified for study in the initiative include:
The initiative is also expected to include demonstration projects.
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