2020 Drought Programs Available to Klamath Project Patrons

Klamath Project Drought Response Agency (KPDRA) Programs

KPDRA Contact: Nathan Ratliff
(541) 882-6331

The Klamath Project Drought Response Agency was formed by local irrigation districts in 2018, and operates
programs to align water supply and demand in the Klamath Project. As with the 2018 programs, MBK
Engineers will assist in processing applications and disbursement of available funds to qualified individuals.
Applications for these programs will be available on or about April 15th and be taken through May 15th.

  • Drought Response Program (Formerly Known as Land Idling): The Drought Response Program
    allows producers to apply for compensation for not irrigating land in 2020 that is in the service area of
    Upper Klamath Lake.

    • Price per acre has not been determined at this time
  • Groundwater Pumping Program: The groundwater pumping program provides reimbursement to
    landowners for pumping groundwater to irrigate lands that could otherwise be irrigated with surface
    water from Upper Klamath Lake.
  • Before submitting an application, producers need to read the applicable policies regarding the
    groundwater program and the drought response program. These policies are located at www.klamathwaterbank.com

Modoc and Siskiyou Counties NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program - Cover Crop Opportunity

*****NEW****RMA letter     

NRCS Contact:  Allison West 

                          (530) 667-4247


California Cover Crop Criteria:

  • Cover crop applications can be taken at any time, and are not contingent upon the U. S. Drought Monitor
  • Deadline for current funding opportunities is April 14th, may be extended due to COVID-19.
  • Applications are only being taken by phone and email at this time. It is highly recommended that producers submit applications ASAP to provide NRCS a level of interest in the program.
  • There is not a set level of funding at this time, it is contingent upon the level of interest among the producers.
  • Price varies between $44 and $64 per acre, it depends upon species mixes and participant eligibility
  • As with Oregon, additional funding may be available based on local interest in the program
  • EQIP funds cannot be used to cover activities completed in advance of an obligated contract.
  • Cover crops cannot be harvested, contract NRCS for practice implementation and termination requirements.
  • Planting cover crops will not affect eligibility for funding available through the Drought Response Agency (DRA)

2020 Oregon Water Resources Department Drought Well Guidelines and Critical Groundwater Areas

OWRD Contact:  Michelle Angell

                            (541) 883-4182

During a Governor-declared drought (such as has occurred this year), there are several options for Klamath
County groundwater utilization from the Oregon Water Resources Department. See below descriptions for
several of the application types.

Drought Permit Criteria:

  • Emergency well permit under OAR 690-019 allows producers to use well water to replace water not available under an existing right.
  •  Emergency well permits may only be issued under Governor declared drought conditions.
  • Drought permit applications are limited to well locations in Klamath County with declines less than 20 feet
    based on data collected between 2001 and 2017.
  •  Application will be approved if deemed to not injure an existing water right or public interest.
  • Limited to 1-acre foot per acre for drought permits
  • Flow metering devices shall be installed if there are currently no means for measurement.
  •  Emergency drought permits take approximately 10 days to process and a valid for one year, or the Governor declares an end to the drought.
  • Producers are urged to visit local OWRD office to discuss their current situation.
    Temporary Transfer Criteria:
  • Under a Governor declared drought, a producer may apply for a temporary transfer of change of use, place of use, or point of diversion of an existing water right.
  • Total water use at the receiving location shall not exceed the maximum rate or duty for that location
  • Priority date of determined claims shall be maintained.
    Supplemental Groundwater Pumping Criteria:
  •  Supplemental groundwater permits allow a producer with a primary surface water right and a supplemental right to temporarily apply for use of the supplemental right in lieu of the primary surface water right.
  • Supplemental use is limited to the acres covered by the right.
  • Flow meters shall be installed if there is not a means for measurement

 Klamath County NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program - Cover Crop Opportunity

Klamath County NRCS Environmental Quality Incentive Program - Cover Crop Opportunity

 NRCS Contacts:  District Office  

                         (541) 887-3791

                         Alex Gajdosik

                        (541) 887-3507


Oregon NRCS is proposing to offer EQIP assistance for the establishment of cover crops for the purpose of addressing wind erosion on highly erodible irrigated croplands subject to the curtailment of irrigation deliveries.
Applications would be prioritized on the following basis:

  • Applications submitted via the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway (CCG) web portal. Additional information on the CCG can be found below.
  • Applications for irrigated cropland fields meeting the Farm Bill definition of Highly Erodible Lands (HEL).

Other requirements:

  • EQIP funds would be limited to the practice of Cover Crop.
  • EQIP funds cannot be used to cover activities completed in advance of an obligated contract. NRCS would not be able to obligate individual client contracts until late April. However, upon request of the applicant,
    NRCS may approve a waiver allowing a client to start work in advance of the contract. Work completed after the waiver request can be reimbursed under EQIP if the client is selected for an EQIP contract.
  • Under the 2018 Farm Bill, cover crops cannot be harvested for seed or other use. They must be terminated. Based on the purpose of addressing wind erosion, the crop residue would have to remain in place until mid-November 2020.
  • The EQIP payment rate for the Cover Crop would be approximately $29/acre.
  •  With an approved contract, payment would be made once the Cover Crop was established.
  • Planting a cover crop will not affect the eligibility for applying for Drought Response Agency Assistance for
    land idling.
  • The enrollment period for this program is April 6th- May 4th.
    Additional information on the NRCS Conservation Client Gateway can be found at:
    Download application:


Prevented Plant Crop Insurance Criteria

Prevent plant crop insurance covers the failure to plant an insured crop by the final planting date or the late planting date.  The cause of prevention must be an insurable cause, such as in this case drought.  See below bullet points and link to prevent plant handbook https://www.rma.usda.gov/-/media/RMAweb/Handbooks/... highlighting key components of the prevent plant program.

  • If you are prevented from planting the insured crop by the final planting date you may plant the crop during the “late plant” period, which runs for approximately 25 days after the final planting date
  • Final planting and late start dates vary with crop type and geographic area
  • You may plant a second crop/cover crop after the late plant period and receive 35% of the preventative plant guarantee
  • If you hay or graze the cover crop/second crop before November 1st, you will receive 35 % of the preventative plant payment
  • If you hay/graze or harvest the crop after November 1st, you are eligible for the full payment
  • Crops must have been planted and harvested in at least one out of the last three years to qualify for prevent plant coverage
  • Planting a cover crop will not affect eligibility for funding available through the Drought Response Agency
  • Contact your local NRCS office or regional Risk Management Agency for more information

Tulelake Area Sustainable Groundwater Management Area

TID Contact:  Kraig Beasley

                           (530) 667-2249


Currently, there are no laws or regulations limiting groundwater pumping in the Tule Lake basin in California. Under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA), groundwater resource will in the future be managed at the local level by a groundwater sustainability agency (GSA) through the development of a groundwater sustainability plan (GSP).

Groundwater Conveyance in Project Canals

There are no federal permits or contracts required in order to convey groundwater in Klamath Project canals or drains. However, water must be measured going in and coming out, and any state or local laws must be complied with. COORDINATE WITH YOUR DISTRICT.