A Canal at KID

The A Canal, seen from near the Klamath Irrigation District office, sits empty on Sept. 30.

The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded an additional $5 million in drought relief funds to the Klamath Project Drought Response Agency, meaning roughly $35 million is headed to the basin to help farmers through a devastating water year.

That $5 million is in addition to $15 million previously allocated to the project. That means KPDRA will now distribute the $20 million from Reclamation this year to Project irrigators in both Oregon and California. The initial $15 million will be distributed on a per acre basis later this year.

The $20 million from Reclamation is reinforced by $15 million from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, also awarded to the KPDRA. For application forms and other information on how to access drought relief programs call (541) 630-0752 or visit www.klamathwaterbank.com.

“This devastatingly dry year has been difficult for everyone,” said Klamath Basin Area acting area manager Jared Bottcher. “We are pleased to make additional funding available to KPDRA to provide immediate relief to communities hit hard by drought conditions. We will pursue additional drought support for Klamath Basin communities as we progress towards long-term solutions for the Klamath Basin.”

President Joe Biden’s federal budget proposal includes $1.5 billion for the Bureau of Reclamation. This includes more than $54 million for the bureau’s WaterSMART programs that increase water supply.