Governor Declares Drought in Four More Oregon Counties

It’s been a rainy April, but prolonged drought is still impacting parts of Oregon. On Monday, Gov. Kate Brown issued drought declarations for four Oregon counties.

Deschutes, Grant, Lake and Malheur counties are the latest where the governor has declared a drought. These counties join Gilliam, Morrow, Jefferson, Crook, Harney, Klamath and Jackson counties, for which the governor declared a drought earlier in 2022.

Drought Turns Klamath Basin into a Political Tinderbox

President Biden’s first major water supply crisis is unfolding in southern Oregon, testing how the administration will balance the needs of farmers, tribes and endangered fish in the parched West.

At least one irrigation district in the Klamath River Basin is keeping its canals open, directly disobeying Bureau of Reclamation orders to halt water deliveries. Irrigators say they have a state right to that water, a contention that recently received some support in a state order.

Last week, Reclamation announced one of the lowest water delivery allocations in the history of the Klamath Project, rattling farmers who use that water to irrigate about 230,000 acres of cropland.