With the Crooked River at near record low levels, Central Oregon’s Prineville Reservoir is at just 28%, the lowest level ever recorded this time of year. The Bureau of Reclamation’s Christine Schuldheisz, said the reservoir filled to just 62% capacity last year, contributing to the current shortfall.
“So, we’re starting this year with a very low reservoir to begin with because last year it didn’t fill. So, precipitation rates again are a contributing factor. They’ve been the lowest over the past two to three years, and of course the temperatures have been generally increasing, as well.”
Schuldheisz said they’ve been in talks with irrigation districts who rely on that water.
“Being very transparent about expected irrigation deliveries, so that the water users, the farmers can plan accordingly for their growing season. Oregon has seen this drought for several years now, so the farmers are preparing for it.”
Schuldheisz said she does not expect the Reservoir or the River to go dry, but they are working with farmers to prepare for another low water growing season.
If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]