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April 6, 2015
New Website Provides Map-Based Groundwater Levels of the Upper Klamath Basin

PORTLAND, Ore., April 6, 2015 — The U.S. Geological Survey recently launched the Upper Klamath Basin Collaborative Groundwater Monitoring  website to provide information on groundwater conditions in the upper Klamath Basin. The website provides a single source for water users, resource managers and the general public to view up-to-date groundwater-level monitoring data collected by multiple agencies in Oregon and California.

“The Klamath Basin is facing unprecedented challenges from extreme drought,” said Marshall Gannett, hydrologist with the USGS Oregon Water Science Center. “This web-based tool is a powerful and direct way to deliver timely, relevant hydrologic information to the public and resource managers.”

The ongoing drought and increased groundwater withdrawals have affected groundwater levels in the upper Klamath Basin. The website will allow water users and resource managers to better visualize and understand these changes when making groundwater management decisions. The map-based website allows users to view maps of groundwater-level changes between any two time periods, as well as locate and create graphs of water-level changes over time for monitored wells in the basin.
“Groundwater-level data is the fundamental information for assessing the conditions of aquifers in the basin and for understanding the impacts of groundwater pumping and the effects of drought,” said Gannett.

The data behind the website include over 23,000 individual water-level measurements from more than 250 wells. Data were collected by the USGS, the Oregon Water Resources Department, the California Department of Water Resources and the Tulelake Irrigation District. Although records for some wells go back several decades, most data were collected since 2001. Development of the website was funded by the Klamath Water and Power Agency and the USGS. Technical assistance was provided by the Oregon Water Resources Department and the California Department of Water Resources.

The website can be accessed online.

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