The Klamath Basin is under constant stress related to water quantity and quality issues, highlighted by recent irrigation water shutoffs and downstream fish kills. As a result, agricultural needs are often pitted against fisheries needs. Most published recovery plans for the Klamath Basin call for increased instream flows, decreased stream diversions, and improvements in water quality.

Hydrologic models call for an increase of 30,000 acre feet of water to flow into Upper Klamath Lake each year.  The goal of many restoration groups is to provide voluntary, incentive-based opportunities for agricultural landowners to provide water for instream flow. They recognize that productive and sustainable agriculture is a core value of the Klamath Basin and ecological needs can only be met while simultaneously supporting and balancing agricultural water needs.