Monthly Briefing – May 2020

Water Crisis Brewing in the Klamath Basin

Water Rally Planned for Today

As the Klamath Irrigation Project marks the 115th anniversary of its authorization, Project producers may be facing their worst water year ever, driven by a combination of poor hydrology and competing environmental demands on the Klamath River. To help draw attention to this crisis, local community leaders in the Klamath Basin have planned a tractor convoy, which starts at 10:00 a.m. (Pacific) today in Merrill, Oregon. The convoy – planned for 1,000 vehicles – will wind its way through Klamath Project farmlands, proceed down Klamath Falls’ Main Street and end up in a local farmer’s field near Midland, Oregon. More information on the event can be found on the convoy website.

Local water leaders are hopeful that the event will renew attention from decision-makers committed to solve problems rationally and relieve the burdens on rural communities. 

“As bad and unfair as the current situation is, we pause, look back and look forward,” said Tricia Hill, president of the Klamath Water Users Association. “We are proud to be part of the Klamath Project heritage, and remain committed to reclaiming our strong agricultural tradition.” 

This is happening at a time when Western U.S. agriculture is facing one of its biggest crises since the Great Depression, as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted markets, disrupted the food supply chain, collapsed commodity prices, and intensified labor challenges.

Click here to read more about these matters and other issues of importance to Western irrigated agriculture:

  • Bureau of Reclamation Update—Grant Opportunities and New Appointments
  • Judge Temporarily Blocks New CVP Water Plan
  • Waiting to Sue Over WOTUS? Get in Line!
  • Water Infrastructure Developments on Capitol Hill
  • A Big “Thank You” to our New and Supporting Members!

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