Storms not enough to lift Southern Oregon drought

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Early spring storms helped improve snowpacks and reservoir levels across Oregon, but not enough to lift drought concerns in the parched southern part of the state.

The latest report from the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service on Friday shows snowpacks, the natural water storage system across the West, were at 36 percent for the Rogue and Umpqua Basins, 33 percent for the Klamath Basin and 46 percent in Lake County.

U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service hydrologist Julie Koeberle says streamflows in the Klamath Basin are forecast to be similar to 2001, when water was cut back on a federal irrigation project to protect threatened and endangered fish.

Meanwhile, the 13 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Willamette Basin reservoirs are averaging 89 percent full, and are on track to fill.

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