The Bureau of Reclamation says the public should expect lower than normal water levels in Crooked River this spring and summer. Flows will be lowest near Prineville, Ore., and Smith Rocks State Park, and could potentially impact recreational activities. Multiple years of drought conditions and low snowpack runoff into the reservoirs are contributing factors.
“Record dry conditions have caused increased irrigation demand from the reservoir much earlier than usual,” said Gregg Garnett, Bend Field Office manager.
Prineville Reservoir has not been this low since 1974, with inflows into the reservoir at only 37% of normal. Reclamation, in consultation with federal, state, and local agencies, is implementing flow measures intended to balance the multiple needs on the Crooked River using the available stored water supply in Prineville Reservoir.
A limited amount of storage will be held in Prineville Reservoir and released this winter to support fish and wildlife needs as described in the Deschutes River Basin Habitat Conservation Plan.
For current water storage information, please visit https://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/destea.html.
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