Klamath Basin Water Crisis

After the successful "Shut Down & Fed Up" rally and hours of discussions with the Trump Administration, the water has been restored to Klamath Basin Farmers!

In April, the Natural Resources Conservation Service forecasted an allocation of 140,000-acre feet of water from the Upper Klamath Lake Project for the growers of the region, less than half of a normal water year delivery. This is the second lowest allocation on record to those farmers who hold the full water right. Using that 40% of normal projected allocation to plan their 2020 crop year, locals spent more than $60 million to plant under a reduced condition.

The farmers had their water reduced from the 140,000 acre-feet committed to a season total of just 80,000 in May. If water allocations had not been restored to the April commitment, water flowing to the Klamath project would have been exhausted in mid-June, ruining tens of thousands of acres of already planted crops.

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On May 29, Congressman LaMalfa took part in a tractor convoy, where thousands of tractors and other farm vehicles drove a route through the heart of the Klamath Basin to bring national attention to the water crisis. This tractor convoy was about spotlighting for the rest of America during this economic and health crisis the plight of an unnecessary crisis, created by government bureaucracy, right here in farm country.

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The federal government, in that last-minute water grab, created an unnecessary disaster that threatens the entire Klamath Basin’s 2020 crop year – its prosperity and way of life – only compounding the ability to keep healthy food on our nation’s supermarket shelves. Farmers typically contend with the possibility of poor weather and crop prices in a given crop year, but this year, atrocious forecasting and a mind-boggling eleventh-hour water cut by federal bureaucrats caused potential for the greatest calamity the Basin has ever seen. With the plantings now already in the field, and their rightful water still stored in the Lake, this midseason water cutoff could have resulted in permanent damage to farmers and devastated the region by hundreds of millions of dollars.

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Congressman LaMalfa would like to hear your thoughts about the ongoing water crisis. Please share them below.

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