GSI partnered with David Evans & Associates to develop a drought contingency plan for the Upper Klamath Basin. Project partners included the Klamath Tribes, Upper Klamath Water Users Association, and Sustainable Northwest.
The drought contingency plan serves as a tool to help resolve regional water challenges and help build on-farm and instream resiliency in the face of drought in the basin. GSI helped project partners assess and develop strategies for using water rights management as a drought planning tool.
GSI’s work involved:
- Identifying general and drought-specific water rights management tools—such as water rights transfers, substitutions, and allocations of conserved water—their limitations, and how they could be used to better manage water and respond to drought conditions in the area.
- Assessing potential opportunities to establish and use a water bank.
- Reviewing information compiled within other elements of the project (U.S. Geological Survey, land management, physical setting, GIS mapping tools, etc.) to determine which of the identified water rights tools would be most appropriate for application in the Upper Klamath Basin drought contingency plan.
- Developing a suite of water right and allocation strategies based on identified water rights tools, existing site conditions, and preferred land management activities to promote resiliency to drought.