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Severe drought crisis deepens along Oregon-California border

Iron Gate Dam
Posted at 2:45 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-04 18:47:15-04

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A severe drought is creating a water crisis not seen in more than a century for farmers, tribes and federally protected fish along the Oregon-California border.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation says it won't release water into the main canal that feeds the massive Klamath Project irrigation system for the first time in 114 years, leaving many farmers and ranchers with no water at all.

The agency also says it won't release water from the same dam to increase downstream water levels in the lower Klamath River, where tribes say 97% of juvenile salmon are dying from a bacterial disease caused by poor water conditions.