KWUA Water Works, June 2022, Issue 34

INTERIM OPERATIONS PLAN: CAN’T EXPIRE  SOON ENOUGH

In a ten-page letter to Ernest Conant, Regional Director for the  Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), Klamath Water Users  Association (KWUA) expressed its strong objection to the  potential extension of the Interim Operations Plan (IOP) that  was adopted for the Klamath Project in 2020. KWUA  Executive Director Paul Simmons wrote that the IOP is “unfair,  ineffective, and dysfunctional,” and identified several  deficiencies in the IOP. 

Reclamation adopted the IOP after being sued in 2019 by the  Yurok Tribe and Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s  Associations. The lawsuit claimed, correctly, that a consultant  had made mistakes in transmitting data to federal agencies  working on documents for Endangered Species Act (ESA)  compliance. Rather than risk the outcome of litigation in the  face of the consultant’s mistake, Reclamation (and other parties  including KWUA as an intervenor) agreed that the lawsuit  would be stayed to give the agencies breathing room. In April  of 2020, Reclamation adopted the IOP, which remains in effect  until September 30, 2022.  

However, Reclamation has recently said that it may “extend”  the IOP indefinitely. KWUA’s letter maintains that “[t]he three  years of attempted operations under the IOP has been a period of chaotic, ad hoc decision making. The three years of operation under the IOP have also been three of the four worst  ever years for irrigation deliveries.”  

KWUA’s letter explains:  

“Three core defects in the IOP’s approach to Endangered  Species Act (ESA) compliance render it unworkable and  irrational. First, the IOP does not concern itself with the effects  of Reclamation’s discretionary actions, which is the relevant  consideration under Section 7 of the ESA. Rather, it is a  product of agencies simply bargaining for water, in a  negotiation in which Reclamation has almost no leverage and  the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and U.S. Fish  and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are not accountable. Second,  the IOP requires the Project to be the guarantor of certain  hydrologic conditions in the Klamath Basin, something that is  beyond Reclamation’s power and physically impossible. Third  and related, the ESA-driven IOP is not based on addressing  limiting factors for ESA-listed fish; the IOP has caused great  harm to farm families and rural communities, wildlife, and the  environment of the Project region, while yielding no benefit for ESA-listed species.”  

KWUA Independence Day logo

After explaining these points in detail, KWUA’s letter points to  flawed assumptions, data errors, and  operational inconsistencies embedded in the IOP. 

KWUA has recommended that, in the  near-term, Reclamation complete ESA  consultations on a year-to-year basis. 

WILL THE LATE PRECIPITATION HELP? 

The Answer Is Too Confusing To Believe 

On April 11, 2021, Reclamation issued its  2022 Annual Operations Plan,  announcing an anticipated irrigation  supply from Upper Klamath Lake of  62,000 acre-feet, less than one-fifth the  Project’s historical demand. This  anticipated supply was based on the  volume expected to be available to divert  while still achieving a designated  minimum water surface elevation on  Upper Klamath Lake of 4,138.15 feet.  

Since last December, KWUA had been  pressing Reclamation to adjust Project  operations to help refill the lake, given  continued dry conditions. KWUA’s  repeated calls for action did not bear fruit,  and by early March, it was too late.  There was no chance to even come close  to filling the lake given the amount of  water that had already been  released down the river. 

In light of this condition, and with Reclamation acknowledging that it was now physically impossible to achieve the early-and mid-season lake elevations designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) desired for suckers, KWUA provided recommendations as to how to manage Project operations this year– simply allow the districts to operate, subject to the condition that a minimum end-of-season lake elevation (4,138.0 feet) be met. In other words, the Project should not be held hostage for
lake levels that are now impossible to achieve. Elevation 4,138.0 is the end-of-season minimum stablished by USFWS’s current biological opinion for suckers.

Reclamation’s Operations Plan partially supported KWUA’s recommendation, but things were more complicated than that. First, the Operations Plan announced that a “buffer” would be added to the
biological opinion’s minimum lake level, making the requirement now 4,138.15 feet. Second, the Operations Plan stated that if observed inflows and resulting lake levels were more than were
anticipated on April 11, Reclamation “may . . . as situationally appropriate . . . split [the additional water] . . . with 50 percent to remain in [the lake] to assist in providing a buffer in the end of season [lake] elevation [and] the remaining 50 percent to be distributed . . . for irrigation use and/or refuge purposes, according to contract priorities.”

Operating to a minimum elevation – albeit with a buffer – was not a surprise, but this potential splitting concept was an entirely new creature.

Link River Dam and Upper Klamath Lake on May 26, 2022. Photo by Chelsea Shearer.
Upper Klamath Lake and Link River Dam as seen on May 26, 2022. Photo by Chelsea Shearer

As fate would have it, the day after Reclamation issued the Annual Operations Plan, rain (and snow in come areas) started to fall. Over the next 12 days, Klamath Falls received as much precipitation (0.7 inches) as had fallen since the start of the year. Another third of an inch of rain fell in the first part of May, and then half an inch at the end of May and during the first part of June. This was not enough rain to end the drought – not even close – yet three months of near normal precipitation is certainly a marked improvement compared to how the year started.

As conditions improved slightly, KWUA became concerned that the so-called “split” not be treated as a done deal, rather than, as the Operations Plan stated a measure that “may” occur “as situationally appropriate.” KWUA has held meetings with Reclamation managers and the USFWS’s Regional Director to express our frustration, both with: (1) the proposed “buffer on top of a buffer” (4,138.15 minimum), and (2) the “split.” In each case, retention of water in the lake leads to significant negative impacts for farmers and negligible biological benefits for suckers. In making these points, KWUA has relied on the agencies’ own “best available” science.

Overall, it appears the situation amounts to a negotiated outcome about water distribution that is not tied to need or benefit, but simply to who gets how much. Klamath Project districts, and particularly their managers, who are working tirelessly to try to make the best out of an otherwise terrible situation (not of their own making), are not in a position to engage in this type of bartering. They were asked by Reclamation for advice on how to manage Project operations this year, and they put forth a sound approach that, to the extent they have any physical control, fully meets the identified needs of the listed species. The concept of negotiating over buffers on top of buffers is not acceptable.

With exceptional unity, Klamath Irrigation District, Tulelake Irrigation District, and Klamath Drainage District wrote a joint letter to Reclamation, reaffirming their plans to operate in a manner that ensure the designated end-of-season minimum Lake level 4,138.15 feet will be met.

Admittedly, multiple consecutive years of water shortages have strained relationships between districts and water users on the Project, but the current federal dysfunction seems to now be bringing them back together. It is a refreshing development, much like the recent rain, and one that we hope will strengthen.

Going forward, there are fundamental problems with the overall approach to Project water management that require focused attention by all of us.

KWUA DELEGATION MEETINGS WITH D.C. LEADERSHIP and OREGON GOVERNOR BROWN

In recent weeks, KWUA board members and Executive Director Paul Simmons have had several meetings with congressional and agency leadership from Washington, D.C., and also met with Governor Brown during her recent visit to Klamath Falls. KWUA’s representatives met in Washington with Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere Janet Coit, who oversees the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). The D.C. meetings also included leadership from the Department of the Interior, including Assistant Secretary Tanya Trujillo, Commissioner of Reclamation Camille Touton, Deputy Commissioner Michael Brain, Senior Counselor to the Secretary Elizabeth Klein, and others. In these meetings, KWUA presented several recommendations, primarily related to restoring balance to water policy in the Klamath Basin.

KWUA president, Ben DuVal, and former board president, Tricia Hill, at the NOAA headquarters in Washington DC.
Ben DuVal and Tricia Hill at NOAA

KWUA also had the opportunity to meet with Alyssa Charney, Chief of Staff for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) at the Department of Agriculture, and identified both near- and longer-term program planning and needs for Klamath producers and water managers.

On Capitol Hill, KWUA met with Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley’s staff (Mr. Merkley was quarantining), and staff for important committees and subcommittees. (The House of Representatives was in recess during this visit, and Covid-related issues prevented in-person meetings with the California Senate offices.) KWUA is requesting that the congressional delegation introduce and secure the passage of legislation supported in the 2016 Klamath Power and Facilities Agreement, as well as support for necessary federal policy actions for more balanced water management.

Bureau of Interior Commissioner Camille Touton meeting with stakeholders in the Klamath Basin.

On June 27, Ms. Klein, Commissioner Touton, Deputy Commissioner David Palumbo, accompanied by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, and Sarah Krakoff, the Deputy Solicitor for Wildlife and Parks, visited the Klamath Basin. KWUA leadership met with this group from the Department of the Interior, emphasizing the damage done to local communities and wildlife by current water management, and reiterating recommendations for going forward constructively.

Also, on June 6, KWUA President Ben DuVal, immediate past President Tricia Hill, and Mr. Simmons met with Governor Kate Brown and her Natural Resources Advisor Jason Miner. KWUA thanked the Governor for her support of assistance made available to Klamath Project districts after the disastrous curtailment of surface water in 2021, and provided specific recommendations to her for attention during the remainder of her term, including actions that can carry on with long-term benefit.

THE FERGUSON GROUP: D.C. REPORT

KWUA and TFG continue to work with your delegation on Capitol Hill and the federal agencies regarding KWUA’s priorities in 2022. Recently, Mr. Simmons, Ms. Hill, and Mr. DuVal traveled to Washington where they met with senior administration officials and key congressional leaders to advocate for action on the key issues facing the basin including: the urgent need to address ESA reconsultation process; identify funding opportunities to support the DRA; impacts on operations in 2022 and preparations for 2023 operations; and to address operational needs through legislation related to the pending dam removal on the Klamath River.

Regarding appropriations, the House appropriations subcommittees were scheduled to mark up their FY 2023 appropriations bills in mid to late June. While the congressional leaders have not reached complete agreement on the total funding levels for FY 2023 (i.e., the “top line number”), the House has moved forward and set their own top- line spending amount of about $1.6 trillion. If that top-line changes later in the year, once agreement is reached, the bills would need to be modified to reflect that change. The
House versions of Energy and Water Development (Reclamation) and Interior and Environment Department of Interior/EPA) bills have now been marked up in full committee.

Elsewhere on the Hill, the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Climate, Forestry and Natural Resources recently held a hearing in which they heard testimony on the drought crisis in the Western U.S. and its impact on forests and farmland. In the House, the Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management examined farm bill policies on commodity support and crop insurance — the main defense against losses caused by drought, floods and other disasters.

In mid-June, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on the Western drought as well. According to the Western States Water Council, the current Western drought is the most extensive and intense period since the U.S. Drought Monitor started keeping records 22 years ago and that at one point this spring, drought conditions covered 61 percent of the U.S.

REPRESENTATIVES BENTZ and LAMALFA VOICE DAM REMOVAL CONCERNS

Earlier this month, U.S. House of Representatives members Cliff Bentz and Doug LaMalfa wrote to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Oregon Governor Brown, California Governor Newsom, and others to express concern about unknown or undisclosed costs and liabilities associated with the proposed removal of the four hydroelectric dams on the mainstem Klamath River that are owned and operated by PacifiCorp.

One of the dams on the Klamath River. Photo taken by Scott Harding.

In their June 17, 2022 letter, the Congressmen stated: “As representatives of the Congressional Districts that include the Upper Klamath Basin, we have serious concerns regarding the proposed surrender of license and decommissioning related to four renewable energy resources on the Klamath River, all of which lie in our districts.”

They continue: “we believe it is critical that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Congress, states, and our constituents, be informed of known and unknown costs and liabilities concerning the currently proposed dam removal project. By all appearances, these issues are being sidestepped or swept under the rug by policy directives that dam removal, for its own sake, is the only thing that matters in the Klamath Basin.”

The letter focuses especially on questions about unknown or undisclosed federal costs associated with the federal acquisition of Keno Dam (which is not to be removed), as well as the details of a November 2020 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between California, Oregon, PacifiCorp, the Klamath River Renewal Corporation (KRRC), the Yurok Tribe, and the Karuk Tribe. The MOA was negotiated after FERC declined to approve the transfer of the license for the hydroelectric facilities to KRRC unless PacifiCorp also remained a licensee. That condition was unacceptable to PacifiCorp, which has long made clear that if its dams are to be removed, someone other than the company would have to be responsible. In the MOA, the two states agree to become co-licensees with KRRC for purposes of dam removal.

FERC is currently reviewing the application by KRRC and the states for the surrender of the FERC license and decommissioning of the power facilities. It cannot act on the application without completing various environmental and cultural resources reviews, and the timing for completion of that work is uncertain.

 To read the Congressmen’s letter, click here.

KWUA OPPOSES PROPOSED POWER RATE INCREASE

Oregon Farm Bureau Logo

On June 22, KWUA, jointly with Oregon Farm Bureau Federation (OFBF), filed written testimony with the Oregon Public Utility Commission (OPUC) opposing a massive increase in electric power rates for irrigation and drainage pumping proposed by Pacific Power.

In its March 2022, general rate case (GRC) filing at OPUC, Pacific Power requested approval of a 13.2 percent increase in irrigation pumping rates.  Coupled with a separate proposal for the rates’ Transition Adjustment Mechanism, Pacific Power has proposed that irrigation pumping costs increase by 18.3 percent, effective January 1, 2023.

The new GRC was unexpected; Pacific Power initiated a GRC in 2020, which resulted in a settlement acceptable to all the parties to that OPUC proceeding. But the company claims it needs additional revenue, primarily due to expenses for wildfire and vegetation management. The GRC involves both the revenue requirements and the allocation of costs among customer classes to generate the revenue. The proposed cost allocation is extremely disadvantageous for irrigation customers. Some customer classes would experience zero increase under the proposal, and overall the proposed irrigation increase is more than double the average rate increase proposed for all the customer classes.

KWUA/OFBF’s expert Lloyd Reed analyzed the proposal and his written testimony finds several flaws in the disproportionate impacts proposed for irrigation customers. For a copy of the testimony, click here.

KWUA estimates that approximately one-half of Pacific Power’s irrigation customers are in Klamath County. In many other areas of the state, public agencies are responsible for some or all of the generation and distribution of delivery of electricity for irrigation.

A grain field getting irrigated in the Klamath Project.

WHAT THE BOARD IS DOING

KWUA’s Board of Directors strives to keep member districts, their patrons, and other interested parties informed. Board members help with the dissemination of information received at our monthly board meetings, and staff produces a monthly newsletter.

The KWUA board held its most recent regular business meeting on June 8. Below is a recap of the ongoing activities, including the current status. If you would like more in-depth information, we encourage you to contact your respective district board member listed on our website.

Operations Report

Operations Committee Chairman Gene Souza presents current hydrologic information to the board at each monthly meeting. Mr. Souza also organizes weekly or (depending on the time of year) biweekly meetings among all district managers and interested district patrons and Reclamation for updates and coordination. Klamath County has moved to a drought level D-3. Upper Klamath Lake did not experience an inflow spike after the late precipitation, but constant inflow has been an improvement over 2021. Upper Klamath Lake elevations had been holding during the first part of June but have been in a typical downward trend since then.

Moss Driscoll gave an update on other details of overall Project operations. He reported that there is still no water delivery expected from Clear Lake. The total Gerber delivery is anticipated at a little over 12,000 acre-feet, which might stretch until the end of July. The three diverting districts on the west side continue to work together consistent with the approach they presented to Reclamation in a plan submitted in April. President DuVal expressed appreciation for the cooperation among the districts.

DRA Report

The deadline for sign-ups for the no-irrigation program was June 15. There are no official data on applications or acres determined to be eligible.

Also, KWUA staff continues to communicate with

Reclamation regarding the potential for a contract between DRA and Reclamation based on the contracts entered into in 2018 and 2020. Under this contract, DRA could receive payments by arranging management of water that provides wildlife benefits (which occurs through actions of districts). Any funds received would be in addition to the funds to be disbursed under the no-irrigation program. The Commissioner of Reclamation needs to approve, and there needs to be a source of sufficient funds identified, but this has potential benefits for the Project and wildlife on a few levels.

DC Trip Recap

Mr. Simmons recapped his Executive Director’s written report and discussed the meetings KWUA had in D.C. during May 23-25.

State of Oregon

March 16, members of the KWUA administrative committee, district managers, and KWUA staff met with Richard Whitman, Director of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), and Tom Paul from the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). Mr. Whitman was in Klamath Falls in a role that is supplemental to his DEQ job.

Photo of Keno Dam on the Klamath River. Photo by Chuck Collins.

Because of his history with past and ongoing basin settlement activities, he continues to give attention to certain aspects of the Klamath Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA). One of those is the transfer to Reclamation of title and operational responsibility for Keno Dam and related facilities. Our most important messages in that meeting were the reiteration of concerns that KHSA and the Klamath Power Facilities Agreement (KPFA ) related commitments have not been met, and the disappointment to the state’s passive deference to federal activities having negative effects on citizens of Klamath County.

Mr. Whitman committed to asking the Governor’s office to communicate to the congressional delegation her strong support for the enactment of legislation supported in the KPFA. He also expressed his understanding of the lack of readiness and likely regulatory problems associated with having salmonids in the Upper Klamath Basin.

In addition, Mr. Simmons reported on a meeting with Governor Brown on June 8 at Kingsley Field. KWUA provided the Governor with a list of things that we believe her

Administration could do in the time that it has. See related story on page 3.

Communications

KWUA continues to participate in the west-wide effort to inform the populace of the importance of food production and the relationship of water policy to the ability to grow food.

Additionally, KWUA’s billboard spots on Washburn Way have begun to run.

KWUA will interview a person within the next few weeks for dedicated communications / P.R. assistance. There is a consensus that ad hoc work on these issues by KWUA staff and board members is not sufficient.

Finally, Mr. Simmons invited board members to attend a meeting with USFWS Regional Director Souza scheduled for the following day.

Oregon and California Rate Cases

KWUA is actively participating in a GRC at the OPUC. See related story on page 4.

In addition, Pacific Power has initiated a GRC in the California Public Utilities Commission, where it requests approval of a rate increase of 25.7 percent. California Farm Bureau Federation participates regularly in utility rate-setting cases and will become a party to this proceeding as well. Mr. Simmons said he believes that Farm Bureau’s representation should be adequate to address KWUA’s interests, KWUA need not participate independently. The board supported Mr. Simmons’ recommendation.

Interim Operations Plan Re-consultation

A focus of KWUA’s messaging for D.C. has been that the IOP must not be continued. KWUA staff has developed a letter on this subject. See related story on page. 1. In the meantime, the IOP terminates on September 30, 2022, and it is unclear what the agencies believe that they can even do to develop a plan for going beyond that time, even if they intend only to “extend” the IOP.

Litigation Update / Actions

The Executive Director’s monthly report provided the status of relevant Klamath-Project litigation. With regard to the pending litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Mr. Simmons noted that there would be a considerable amount of work going on during the last half of June and early July in responding to the federal government’s and Yurok Tribe’s motions for summary judgment (which total 121 pages together) and providing our own arguments in support of KWUA’s counterclaim. KWUA is coordinating with other Project attorneys regarding the upcoming filings.

Water Policy Director Report

Moss Driscoll recapped his Water Policy Report. He updated the board on the status of Fisheries Science. KWUA is closely pursuing multiple fronts in regard to the science to support Reclamation’s current operations and the corresponding biological opinions from the NMFS and USFWS.

KWUA has previously noted the lack of support or justification for the “surface flushing flow” that Reclamation attempted this spring, and staff continues to track the data that was collected during the event and what results it shows in relation to sediment transport, which was the stated purpose of the flow. KWUA has also focused on the science related to lake elevations and shoreline spawning habitat.

Oregon Emergency Drought Permits; Long-term Groundwater Management

Mr. Driscoll noted that KWUA has raised questions about OWRD’s assumptions of the impacts related to agricultural well pumping, while also identifying various approaches to using groundwater in a manner that will minimize or avoid impacts to domestic well owners. Despite those efforts, OWRD has advised KWUA that it will only reconsider its position on emergency drought permits for lands on the west side of the Klamath River, where groundwater levels are essentially unchanged from last year.

For this year, KWUA will continue to pursue the issue of the perceived connection between agricultural groundwater use and dry domestic wells. Also, Mr. Driscoll noted that in the recent discussions with the state of Oregon, he raised the possibility of pursuing a planning process to develop management strategies for sustainable use of groundwater within the Project’s entire service area in both states.

Watershed Stewardship Process

In total, KWUA expects to obtain approximately $450,000 for planning work in connection with the “watershed stewardship” planning process. Mr. Driscoll emphasized that while this work comes under the auspices of water quality, KWUA plans to use this process to address water supply reliability with respect to water sources that have fewer constraints in comparison to Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River. This process is effectively going to look at potential alternatives to modify and re- operate the Project.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Funding Proposals

A mallard in flight

Mr. Driscoll informed the board that USFWS had provided KWUA and other stakeholders with a list of proposed projects to be funded in this year’s funding pot under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for restoration in the Klamath Basin. In addition to the Ducks Unlimited project that KWUA and other districts supported, there are some actual on-the-ground restoration projects proposed in the Upper Klamath Basin upstream of Upper Klamath Lake, as well as the lower Klamath River, and studies for practical solutions on the Scott River. Other proposals are for things such as organizational capacity building. The total funding amount associated with these proposals is in excess of $100 million. Overall, there does not appear to be any holistic plan for how funded projects will improve the situation or resolve the conflicts over water in the Klamath Basin. KWUA will continue to follow this process and voice its concerns where necessary.

Water level gage on Upper Klamath Lake

UKL Gaging

Mr. Driscoll followed up on the matter raised at the last board meeting about the accuracy of purported Upper Klamath Lake water surface elevations. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) transitioned to a three-gage average in 1974 and has more recently added a fourth gage on Agency Lake. A weighted average of these four gages over a 24-hour period is used to calculate the mean daily elevation. He noted that a private gage could be set up, which likely would record different levels from USGS’s weighted average, but most likely due to the effect of wind on the lake. He mentioned that he had talked with Marc Stewart from USGS about coming to talk about how the measurements are recorded and the average calculated.

FROM YOUR DISTRICTS

Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA)

KWUA offices will be closed July 1-4 in observance of Independence Day.

KWUA will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on July 13 @ 2 pm at the KWUA office.

Tulelake Irrigation District (TID)

TID will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on July 11 @ 8 pm at the TID office.

Klamath Irrigation District (KID)

KID will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on July 14 @1 pm at the KID office.

Klamath Project Drought Response Agency (KDPRA)

KDPRA will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on July 13 @ 10 am in the KWUA boardroom.

Klamath Drainage District (KDD)

KDD will hold its monthly Board of Directors meeting on July 21 @ 1 pm at the KDD office.

KLAMATH OFF CHANNEL LIVESTOCK WATERING GRANTS

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) is now accepting applications for the Drought Relief – Klamath Off-Channel Livestock Watering grants. This funding is available to support livestock watering wells and the construction of off-channel water facilities in Klamath County. These grants are supported by General Funds from the Oregon Legislature and have an explicit Legislative intent, per Senate Bill 5561 (2021). Funding is provided to assist irrigated pasture owners to move livestock watering facilities away from riparian areas. This minimizes grazing impacts on riparian areas and the dependency on in-stream water sources. At its January 2022 meeting, the OWEB Board approved receipt of General Funds for multiple Drought Relief grant types to be offered during the 2021-2023 biennium. The deadline for the first grant cycle of the OWEB Drought Relief–Klamath Off-Channel Livestock Watering grants is 5:00 p.m. on June 30, 2022. Information about future grant cycles can be found on the webpage for this grant offering.

 If you missed the 1st cycle, it is anticipated that a 2nd cycle will open mid-July.

Eligible Area: Klamath County

Actions Eligible for Funding:

Well construction for livestock water, initial power hookups, and associated infrastructure for off-channel watering (e.g., solar or electric pumps, piping from the well to troughs/cisterns). Wells proposed in this grant offering are exclusively for off-channel livestock water. Domestic or irrigation wells are not eligible.

  • Project design for well construction and off-channel watering infrastructure.
    • Riparian exclusion fencing. Full exclusion is not required, but strongly encouraged.
    • Modest costs for riparian planting efforts. Non-native plant control is allowed within the riparian buffer to assist in plant establishment, but this is not intended to be the primary source of funding.
    • Development of a grazing management plan.

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), 775 Summer St. NE, Ste. 360, Salem, OR 97301-1290 (971) 345-7231

WATER WELL ABANDONMENT, REPAIR and REPLACEMENT

The Water Well Abandonment, Repair, and Replacement Fund (Fund) was authorized through the passage of HB 2145 to provide financial assistance to persons or members of a federally recognized Indian tribe in Oregon to permanently abandon, repair, or replace a water well used for household purposes.

Financial assistance for low to moderate income households to abandon, repair, or replace affected wells used for household purposes in areas recently impacted by drought or wildfire.

Questions? Visit the website: https://www.oregon.gov/owrd/programs/GWWL/WARRF/Pages/default.aspx

Email: OWRD.Well.Funding@water.oregon.gov Call: (503) 779-5763

RCAC HOUSEHOLD WATER WELL and SEPTIC SYSTEM

Low interest loans and grants available to construct, refurbish, or replace individual water well and septic systems!

Program Requirements:

  • Residence must be in a rural area, town, or community in RCAC’s 13-State service area with a population not exceeding 50,000.
  • Applicants must own and occupy the home being improved or be purchasing the home.
  • New home construction and community systems are not eligible.
  • Household income may not exceed $37,730 for California. Please call for other States’ income eligibility.

For information/application please visit www.rcac.org or contact:

Deborah Almazan, Loan Officer, Rural Community Assistance Corporation (RCAC)

2978 North Fork Road, Fernley, NV 89408

Email: dalmazan@rcac.org Cell: (725) 221-0474 Fax: (775) 501-6915

HYDRO UPDATE

  • The Upper Klamath Basin received, on average, 6.47 inches of precipitation for the water year (WY), bringing the Basin to 66 percent of average for the water year to date
  • Cumulative net inflow to Upper Klamath Lake for the WY is 621,000 acre- feet (AF)
  • Upper Klamath Lake Elevation is 4140.51 feet
  • Storage in Upper Klamath Lake is 315,354 AF (56%)
  • Storage in Clear Lake is 53,392 AF (13%)
  • Storage in Gerber Reservoir is 6,565 AF (6%).
  • All out of stream uses on tributaries to Upper Klamath Lake for which the Kla- math Tribes have instream water rights have been regulated off until the end of the irrigation season or otherwise notified by OWRD.

District 17 Water Master Office has moved to 3125 Crosby St., Klamath Falls.

If you are experiencing a domestic well issue, please report your well issues to the Water Master’s office, via phone or the county website.

Additionally, Pacific Crest Federal Credit Union is offering two special programs to help the community with impaired domestic wells. Please check the county’s website for more information.