GSI helped Klamath Basin stakeholders develop tools, strategies, and a drought contingency plan that guide water users during drought conditions.


GSI worked with David Evans & Associates to develop a drought contingency plan for the Klamath Basin for a group of project partners that includes the Klamath Tribes, Upper Klamath Water Users Association, and Sustainable Northwest.

The drought contingency plan is a tool for resolving regional water challenges and building on-farm and instream resiliency in the face of a drought.

GSI’s Solution

Between 2011 and 2013, we helped the project partners assess and develop strategies for using water rights tools for building resiliency to drought. To analyze the available water management tools and provide water right allocation strategies specific to the drought contingency plan, we:

  • Identified general and drought-specific water rights management tools that are available, their limitations, and how they could be used to better manage water and respond to drought conditions within the area. We also assessed potential opportunities to establish and use a water bank.
  • Reviewed 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 water rights tools identified would be most appropriate for application within the Klamath drought contingency plan.
  • Developed 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.