Public Comment Invited on Klamath Irrigation Power Cost Reports

For Release: November 8, 2019

Public Comment Invited on Klamath Irrigation Power Cost Reports

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation and Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) today announced that two Klamath Project and Upper Klamath Basin power reports are available for public comment. The draft reports, called The Klamath Basin Affordable Power Studies Power Cost Benchmark Report and Klamath River Basin America’s Water Infrastructure Act Affordable Power Measures Report, are available at

Congress passed America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) in 2018. Among other things, AWIA required that Reclamation complete a congressional report that both identifies the average costs paid for power by irrigation water users at similarly situated Reclamation projects in the Pacific Northwest and provides a plan for bringing power costs for local irrigators down to that level.

Irrigation power users in this region operated with power rates based on special contracts with PacifiCorp for around 90 years. Those contracts ended in 2006 and rates increased.

Reclamation, which is planning to have the report completed by the end of this year, has hosted meetings every other week for KWUA’s power committee and other Upper Basin irrigators’ to gather their feedback on this important issue.

“Congress made it clear that we needed to develop a report on power costs for irrigators in the Klamath basin based on local input,” said Jeff Nettleton, Reclamation’s Klamath Basin Area Office Area Manager. “We’ve worked closely with irrigators and other stakeholders to make that happen.”

On Sept. 10, 2019, KWUA and Reclamation jointly hosted a public meeting to inform the public about the process and status of the report.

“We’re very pleased with how Reclamation has managed this process and engaged us,” said KWUA Vice President and Power Committee Chairman Ben DuVal. He also stressed the need to follow through on the work: “Our Congressional delegation gave us a great start by requiring this report; we will need to take that roadmap and use it to get to where we need to be on affordable power.”

Comments for both reports must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. Nov. 22, 2019, if hand delivered or mailed, to Power Report, Bureau of Reclamation, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603; or by email before midnight Nov. 22, to bor-sha-awia@usbr.gov. Contact Mike Neuman at 541-883-6935 or mneuman@usbr.gov or Laura Williams at 541-880-2581 or ljwilliams@usbr.gov for report questions.

The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation’s largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Contacts: Laura Williams, Public Affairs Specialist Bureau of Reclamation ljwilliams@usbr.gov 541-880-2581

Paul Simmons, Executive Director & Counsel Klamath Water Users Association


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