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Water crisis ‘couldn’t be worse’ on Oregon-California border

Western Drought-Klamath Basin
Posted at 10:27 AM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 13:28:56-04

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A severe drought is creating a water crisis not seen in more than a century for farmers and federally protected fish along the Oregon-California border.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says it won't release water into the main canal that feeds the massive Klamath Reclamation Project this summer, marking a first for the 114-year-old irrigation system. The agency previously said irrigators would get dramatically less water than usual, but a worsening drought picture means water will be shut off instead.

It also says it won't release extra water to boost levels in the lower Klamath River.

Tribes say the water is needed to save juvenile salmon dying from a bacterial disease.