Environment | Water

Kitzhaber Signs Klamath Drought Declaration

AP | April 18, 2013 8:49 a.m.

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AP

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has issued a drought declaration for the Klamath Basin. Pictured here is Lower Klamath Lake.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has issued a drought declaration for the Klamath Basin. Pictured here is Lower Klamath Lake.

Flickr/International Rivers

SALEM, Ore. — Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed a drought declaration for Klamath County, where dry conditions a dozen years ago led to a farmers-versus-fish water war.

The action follows a similar declaration from the county commissioners. The declarations start the process for aid to farmers and ranchers.

In a statement Thursday, Kitzhaber said precipitation has been only moderately below average in the Klamath Basin, but because of warm temperatures it’s come mostly in rain instead of being stored in snow.

He said the area faces what he called “serious and worsening challenges with water availability.”

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