Fast Snowmelt Could Spell Water Shortage For Klamath Farmers

May 23, 2012

The bureau of reclamation is predicting a water shortage in Oregon’s Klamath basin. The federal water agency has asked Klamath farmers to consider idling their land. Amelia Templeton reports.

The Cascade Mountains act as a water storage system for the Klamath basin. But the snowpack melted early this year. And that could lead to shortages later in the summer. Kevin Moore is a spokesman for the Bureau of Reclamation. He is asking farmers to help out by conserving water. One program would help farmers who choose not to plant, or let their crops die.

“Individuals would have the opportunity to receive funds and not receive water for the remainder of the year.”

The funds are available for farmers growing alfalfa, hay, and grain. Moore says that unless more farmers volunteer to idle their land, the Bureau may have to start rationing water in June.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio