The growing leadership of women in water. The Colorado River’s persistent drought and efforts to sign off on a plan to avert worse shortfalls of water from the river. And in California’s Central Valley, promising solutions to vexing water resource challenges.
These were among the topics that Western Water news explored in 2018.
We’re already planning a full slate of stories for 2019. You can sign up here to be alerted when new stories are published. In the meantime, take a look at what we dove into in 2018:
“State water masters on Thursday were evaluating demands from
farmers in a federal irrigation project and from the Klamath
Tribes to enforce their senior water rights in drought-stricken
Klamath County, the Oregon Water Resources Department said.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation announced today [June 12] that public
scoping meetings are scheduled to be held jointly with the
Klamath Water and Power Agency to begin preparation of a combined
“The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region announces the
selection of Sheryl Franklin as the Area Manager for the Klamath
Basin Area Office located in Klamath Falls, Oregon. Franklin is
scheduled to begin her new job in mid-May.”
“The Bureau of Reclamation announced today [April 8] the
release of the 2014 Operations Plan for the Klamath Project.
The plan is based upon expected drier-than-normal hydrologic
conditions from the April 1 Natural Resource Conservation
Service inflow forecast as well as current reservoir
“During the 2014 water year, the Klamath Basin has received 75
percent of average precipitation since October 2013.
Tribes, ranchers, irrigators and the state announced a
comprehensive water management agreement Wednesday that will
help move forward legislation to resolve water disputes in the
“The ‘Proposed Upper Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement’
settlement was announced by Klamath Tribes leaders, irrigators
and officials who have been working for more than eight months
to develop a pact to balance the needs of upper Basin
stakeholders and curtail years of disagreements ov
“A deal to share scarce water between ranchers and the Klamath
Tribes has cleared another hurdle on its way toward becoming
part of a bill in Congress to overcome a century of fighting
over water in the Klamath Basin.
“Parties announced Wednesday they have finished negotiations to
overcome last summer’s irrigation shut-off to cattle ranches in
the upper Klamath Basin after the Klamath Tribes exercised
newly awarded senior water rights to protect fish.”
“The Klamath Tribes, the U.S. Department of the Interior, Oregon
Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Oregon Senator
Jeff Merkley, and Upper Klamath Basin irrigators announced today
[March 5] that they have completed negotiations on the Upper
Klamath Basin Comprehensive Agreement.
“A fish species given top protections by the Endangered Species
Act for more than 20 years has been proposed for
delisting. The Modoc sucker, Catostomus microps, was
classified endangered under the ESA in California in
“The Oregon chub, found only in the Willamette River Basin, was
proposed for delisting earlier this month.
“Commissioners officially declared a state of emergency due to
drought in Klamath County on Tuesday. The declaration asks
Gov. John Kitzhaber to do the same, saying the ‘appropriate
response is beyond the capability of Klamath County.’”
From the Eureka Times-Standard, in a commentary by Brian
Johnson and Mark Hennelly:
has been great for the Klamath Basin.
“First, the Klamath Tribes and ranchers reached an historic
agreement in principle to share water in the upper Klamath
River basin. Then, the Klamath Task Force wrapped up its work.
Convened by Oregon Sens. Wyden and Merkley, Rep. Walden, and
Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber earlier this year, the task force was a
tremendous success. To cap it off, Sen.
“California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird released
the following statement after the announcement of the
completion of work by the Klamath Basin Task Force to clearly
define the sharing of precious water resources and lay
groundwork for future legislation:
“”I applaud the leadership of Oregon Governor John Kitzhauber
and the hard work of the Klamath Basin Task Force to get closer
to reaching the goals of the Klamath Basin Agreements.
“[Oregon] Gov. John Kitzhaber and representatives of the Obama
administration have signed an agreement for sharing scarce
water in the Upper Klamath Basin, where irrigation was shut off
to ranchers last summer after the Klamath Tribes exercised
newly awarded water rights to protect fish.
“The governor and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner
Michael L. Connor signed the agreement in principal Wednesday
in Klamath Falls.