Water Resource Management

Upper Klamath Basin Water Management and Drought Contingency Planning

Location: Klamath Falls, Oregon

DEA managed a team to develop a drought contingency plan for irrigation, fish, and wildlife management in the Klamath Off-Project area (Sprague, Wood, and Williamson rivers). The plan sought to conserve, augment, and make more efficient use of water, as well as mitigate social, economic, and ecological impacts of droughts in the Upper Klamath Basin. Phase 1 provided analysis in three areas: hydrologic, water use and allocation, and land management. The hydrological analysis built upon the work of the U.S. Geological Survey as it completed and released portions of its Klamath Basin Off-Project Study. Those findings helped to inform and guide the drought contingency plan. The water use and allocation analysis reviewed the available water management tools and provided strategies specific to the Off-Project area. The land management analysis investigated a variety of land, irrigation, and riparian management approaches that could be used to reduce drought impacts to irrigation and fish and wildlife, and augment water availability for agricultural and in-stream uses. DEA reviewed irrigation infrastructure and management efficiency strategies, alternative grazing strategies, alternative cropping strategies, and juniper management strategies.