Drought conditions may hurt 1,300 Oregon producers that are part of the Klamath Basin irrigation project in Oregon. The project shares water between fish and farms, but many producers fear there won’t be enough water for their crops.
Federal authorities are meeting with Governor Ted Kulongoski at Klamath Falls to determine the future of 200,000 acres. The tough decision needs to protect the endangered fish and meet the needs of producers.
“It is likely that drought conditions will require significant reduction of irrigation deliveries to the farming community,” Kulongoski wrote in a letter to the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The agreement was signed only three weeks ago in Salem, after five years of negotiations. It provides funding from Congress for 10 years for conservation. If a drought declaration occurs, low-rate loans will be available for producers through the USDA.
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