In the Flow
District news & updates
22 July 2022 Update
The Klamath Tribes and Klamath Water Users Association urge Reclamation to complete a new Endangered Species Act consultation.
The existing Interim Operations Plan expires on 30 September 2022. Everyone agrees the IOP is flawed, unworkable, and that an extension would be neither in the public interest nor conducive to reducing conflict in the Klamath Basin.

"We do not presume that a new consultation will be perfect or that we will find nothing objectionable in the outcome. But it does not serve the Klamath Basin, its communities, or its fish and wildlife to operate under the IOP"

Photo by Holly Dillemuth / JPR
Outflows to Upper Klamath Lake over 100% of average --- Inflows around 25% of average
Despite the evaluation of a third year of drought and assessing natural conditions which would have pre-empted water flowing out of Upper Klamath Lake during dry periods such as we are currently experiencing, a great deal of water is being unnecessarily and unnaturally evacuated from the Klamath Basin into the Klamath River canyon below Keno.

Prior to the development of the Klamath Project, he natural Keno reef would have backed up any water coming out of Link River (highly unlikely given the current conditions) allowing no less than 188,000 acre-feet of water to evaporate from the Klamath River system in the Lower Klamath Lake removing this water from any available supply for down river use. Less than 20,000 acre feet of this water is anticipated to return to the area in 2022 where 188,000 acre-feet would have naturally evaporated from.

The natural lakes of Lower Klamath, Tule, TIngley, Spring, and the Lost River Slough covering over 188,000 acres would have evaporated no less than 3 acre feet of water per acre across the entire surface area. The fact that no less than 564,000 acre feet of water evaporated from these wetlands is ignored by hydrologists in their modeling of natural conditions. Water that would not have been available to the Klamath River canyon below Keno. Less than 14% of the 564,000 acre feet of water which naturally would have evaporated annually from these 188,000 acres will be returned in 2022.

Under natural conditions these water bodies would evaporate signifigant amounts of water in July and August which in turn would naturally create localized weather events including thunderstorms and rain showers providing moisture in the area of the 2021 Bootleg fire and created cooler air temperatures around the basin...thus cooler water temperatures...thus later algae blooms.

So far this season, there has not been enough evaporation to recreate these naturally occurring weather patterns and water temperatures in the remaining water bodies are increasing resulting in earlier toxic algae blooms.

Between 1 March and 30 September, no less than 407,400 acre feet will be released to the Klamath River canyon below Keno (well over 100% of average. Given natural conditions, the amount would be closer to 75,000 acre feet under natural conditions if we compare 2022 with 1931) when inflows to Upper Klamath Lake are measured at under 25% for most of the past 3 years.
In March and April of 2022, the districts communicated with Reclamation staff proposals to manage Upper Klamath Lake to the 2019 Biological Opinion level for C'waam and Kaptu habitat recognizing the need to protect these species and to not take the lake to our stored water right of 4,136.0 (Reclamation datum)

USFWS previously communicated the biological need for the C'waam and Kaptu as an elevation of 4,137.7' (Reclamation datum) allowing the endangered fish to have over 3 feet of water above a natural reef into Pelican Bay. Reclamation then updated this elevation with simply hydrology model outputs, without a biological foundation to maintain lake elevations in excess of 4,138.00' in 2019.

Reclamation's 11 April 2022 Operations Plan communicated to the districts that our combined efforts allowed us to manage the available water supply in Upper Klamath Lake down to an elevation of 4,138.15' (Reclamation datum). allowing a 0.15' buffer (10,000 acre feet of stored water) to the nearly 0.3' buffer provided in a previous biological opinion (nearly 6 additional inches or 29,000 acre-feet of stored water above the biological opinion).

On 25 April 2022 the three diverting districts provided Reclamation with a plan for how the districts would operate to 4,138.15. Afterwards Reclamation informed the districts the goal-post was a moving target and that something above 4,138.15 would be the end of season low.

For the past 3 months, districts and other stakeholders have been engaging with Federal agencies to mitigate the impacts to our communities and attempt to identify solutions for our dying refuges.

On 22 July 2022, Reclamation informed the districts that the UKL end of season elevation is now assessed at 4,138.56 and that very little of the modeled volume above this level is remaining as Reclamation intends to send the remainder of all live flow and a significant amount of stored water to the ocean before 30 September 2022 without a water right to do so.

NOTICE: Change in K.I.D. Operations effective 19 July 2022
Klamath Irrigation District manager directed the team to quit diversions of UKL surface water to Poe Valley and redirect available flows to the Klamath Valley, specifically Ride #5 to ensure an opportunity for a second irrigation is applied equally across the District.

The manager has decided not to open the A3 Canal, nor its laterals in 2022. The directors have provided guidance to develop a plan to specifically to address the effects of this decision.

The Board of Directors will need to meet in the immediate future to provide guidance on how to respond to Reclamation's letter.
July is Smart Irrigation month

Jim Lauria (Mazzei Injector Company) and Adam Tank (Transcend Water) conduct an interview with Dan Keppen, Family Farm Alliance Executive Director, entitled “Expanding Your Solution Story To Reach Diverse Stakeholders”.

This is the second in the Smart Irrigation Voices series, sponsored by Water Online

Dan, Jim and Adam on during the “Water We Talking About?” podcast discuss a variety of topics, including why food security starts with water security. More “Water We Talking About?” episodes can be found here.
Family Farm Alliance Reps Advocate for Western Farms As Global Food Insecurity Concerns Mount
Your maintenance crews at work!
Things are still a mess across the District. On Sunday I patrolled the District trying to identify where to prioritize our maintenance efforts...there are way too many important issues.

For awareness, we are several weeks behind on weed control. Our maintenance team has not been able to get into our normal routine yet this year as our maintenance crews are scrambling across the basin chasing problems.

We are also actively recruiting for a new relief ditch-rider. Some of our maintenance team will be pulled this week to perform ditch riding duties until the vacancy is filled.

Partnership with Farmers Conservation Alliance Update
"Klamath Irrigation District’s (KID’s) Water Project Grant application to implement Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) at 21 key locations is currently under review by Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). OWRD is accepting public comments on Water Project Grant applications until July 22, 2022. We expect that the Water Resources Commission will make a funding decision in November 2022. Additionally, Julie O’Shea, FCA Executive Director, and Amanda Schroeder, FCA Program Specialist, continue to work with KID and other irrigation districts in the Klamath Basin to develop funding strategies for projects throughout the Klamath Project.

On June 7, Joe Reber, FCA Information and Analytics Specialist, gave a presentation to Gene Souza, KID Manager, that described the findings of our GIS assessment. Joe detailed the work that was performed and the resulting data outcomes. Joe is looking forward to giving an abbreviated presentation to KID’s board of directors in the coming months.

We were pleased that the District was awarded an Oregon Water Resources Department Feasibility Study Grant to support the development of a System Improvement Plan. OWRD indicated they will provide a grant agreement for the District’s review in July. Once a grant agreement is signed by the District and OWRD, work can begin on the project."

FCA also prepared a grant application for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's American the Beautiful Challenge 2022 to develop a plan to modernize the A Canal. Senator Merkley, Congressman Bentz, the City of Klamath Falls, Klamath County Commissioners, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ducks Unlimited, Family Farm Alliance, Poe Valley Improvement District, and Klamath Watershed Partnership provided letters of support for this planning project.

Career Opportunities with K.I.D.
Klamath Irrigation District is looking for a bookkeeper

General Position Summary
The Bookkeeper is responsible for Financial and Office Support services to ensure District business office runs effectively and efficiently with a focus on customer service. Responsible for overseeing accounts payable and receivable, processing payroll, assisting the Manager in preparation of annual budget, provide monthly financial reports for the Manager and Board members, acts as treasurer for Klamath Basin Improvement District, works in collaboration with the Office Specialist on both K.I.D. and KBID business and reports directly to the District Manager. Must be well organized and comfortable dealing with financial data to produce clear financial reports.
For complete job description and application go to
Applications are also available at Klamath Irrigation District office, 6640 KID Ln, M – F 8am to 4:30pm. 541-882-6661. Open until filled.
Klamath Irrigation District is looking for a relief ditch rider / maintenance specialist

General position summary
Patrols a designated area and controls irrigation water flows in canals and drains. Interacts with water users and other Ditch-Riders to coordinate demands for irrigation. Checks all District facilities for proper operation and maintenance conditions. Participates in maintenance and repair of District facilities. Apply through LinkedIn at
Funding Opportunities
OWEB now is 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. 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 second grant cycle of the OWEB Drought Relief–Klamath Off-Channel Livestock Watering grants is 5 pm on September 1, 2022. Information about future grant cycles can be found on the webpage for this grant offering.
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.

Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants include tribes, watershed councils, soil and water conservation districts, not-for-profit organizations, schools, community colleges, state institutions of higher education, independent not-for-profit institutions of higher education, and political subdivisions of the state that are not state agencies. A state agency or federal agency may apply for funding only as a co-applicant with one of the other eligible entities.

Important Considerations for This Grant Program
Please review the OWEB Drought Relief Grant Program – Klamath Off-Channel Livestock Watering Grant Overview and Guidance document. This document outlines important information about the grant program structure and provides guidance that will help applicants determine if the proposed projects are appropriate for the OWEB Off-Channel Livestock Water Grant Program. Important considerations include, but are not limited to:
·        OWEB strongly encourages local partners to coordinate activities to leverage the strengths of the partner organizations and maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of on-the-ground work. Applicants must demonstrate the capacity to plan and implement successful actions over a relatively short timeframe (i.e., by June 30, 2023).

Questions? A recorded webinar was held on June 6th, 2022 to provide an overview of the Klamath Off-Channel Livestock Watering grant program.
If you have questions about applying to OWEB’s Drought Grant Program, visit the Drought Relief Grant Program webpage or contact Amy Charette at
Oregon’s Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Suppression Program Launches
Oregon Department of Agriculture sent this bulletin at 05/17/2022 02:07 PM PDT
As Oregon’s grasshopper and Mormon cricket hatching season begin, the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) provides one-time funding to help combat the expected severe outbreak. Last summer, Oregon suffered its worst outbreak of grasshoppers and Mormon crickets in fifty years. As a result, a record 10 million acres of rangeland in 18 counties suffered damaging infestation levels.
In response to the severe outbreak, in 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 5561 (SB 5561) to provide funds and resources to support a grasshopper and Mormon cricket control and suppression cost-sharing program. More than $4 million is allocated for suppression/treatment and more than $800,000 for pre-treatment and post-treatment surveys.
Participation in the Grasshopper and Mormon Cricket Survey and Suppression Program is open to private landowners and land managers for properties within the state of Oregon.
How to apply
·    Complete an Oregon grasshopper and Mormon cricket outbreak reporting form and request a site survey.
·    Based on survey results, treat all or a portion of the ODA recommended acreage and location.
·    Complete and submit the reimbursement form and IRS form W-9 before August 1, 2022.
Applicants may be reimbursed up to 75 percent of the actual cost for treatment, including product and application costs. Approved treatments are with insect growth regulator diflubenzuron. This chemical is generally of low toxicity to humans, other mammals, birds, and honeybees. To distribute 100 percent of the available funds, ODA will distribute them equally among those who apply for reimbursement. Because of this, ODA cannot state a specific reimbursement rate until we receive all reimbursement requests.
Please visit ODA online for questions about grasshoppers and Mormon crickets in Oregon, their control, and their impact on Oregon agriculture ( You will also find more information about SB 5561 and the cost-share program, including details about eligibility, requirements, and scheduling.
If you have questions regarding surveys and treatment, please contact:
Todd Adams (503) 931-0829
If you have questions regarding the cost share program, please contact:
Alan Hanson (503) 949-2993
News Stories Recently Shared with K.I.D.
Only two weeks remain in USDA Farm Service Agency’s 2022 County Committee election nomination period for communities nationwide. From June 15 to August 1, nominations are open for candidates to run for a position on the local USDA FSA county committee. Agricultural producers may nominate themselves or others as a candidate. Additionally, organizations representing underserved (minority and women) farmers or ranchers may nominate candidates. Reach out to your local FSA office to identify the 2022 local administrative area up for election in your community and for assistance with the nomination process.

OAR 690 Division 54 Rules Adopted - Conversions of a Hydroelectric Water Right to an Instream Water Right
The Water Resources Commission adopted the Division 54 hydroelectric rules at its June Commission meeting. These rules pertain to “Conversions of a Hydroelectric Water Right to an Instream Water Right.”
The final rule filing along with the rules adopted by the Commission are attached and the rules are also available on the Secretary of State’s website. The rules are effective July 14, 2022.

Race to the bottom: How Central Oregon groundwater sells to the highest bidders
July 19, 2022
By Emily Cureton Cook
In Oregon’s fastest-growing region, more residents are struggling to reach an affordable water supply. A developer’s quest to keep pumping tests what state officials are willing to do about it.
When Susan Burdick hunted for a Central Oregon home to buy in 2006, she looked at dozens of listings without landing any of them. Then one night, the realtor called about a property around 5 miles southwest of Redmond. Burdick hopped in the car.
“This is it,” she remembered thinking. The 5-acre tract was just what she’d been seeking: a modest country home with plenty of space for her priorities — horses, dogs, chickens, goats and a garden. “It’s not fancy,” she said. “But, it’s my little paradise.”
Then her well ran dry in 2020.
Water battle in drought-plagued wildlife refuges ends in draw
July 19, 2022
By Barbara Grzincic
A federal appeals court on Monday upheld a 15-year plan for several drought-stricken wildlife refuges along the Oregon and California border against challenges by agribusiness and conservation groups alike.
The three decisions by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals mark a stalemate in a century-old water war in the Klamath Basin, where a federal irrigation project to support farming began in 1906 and the nation’s first wildlife refuge was established in 1908.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2017 Comprehensive Conservation Plan drew fire from agribusiness for regulating farming practices in the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex, while conservationists argued the restrictions did not go far enough.
The agribusiness groups, led by Tulelake Irrigation District, argued that FWS had no legal authority to favor wildlife over agriculture on land the agency had leased to farmers. The 9th Circuit said the groups were misreading laws that govern wildlife refuges generally and the Klamath complex specifically.

As fire season begins, new rules protecting Oregon workers from heat, smoke are challenged
July 16, 2022
By Alex Baumhardt 
With temperatures rising and fire season officially declared, advocates are visiting farms and job sites in Oregon, educating workers about new state rules to protect them from extreme heat and wildfire smoke.
Oregon’s 86,000 farmworkers face among the highest risks from heat and smoke in summer, but many don’t know that new rules guarantee shade areas or water, for example.
“They’re usually comforted and relieved to know,” said Kate Suisman, an attorney at the Northwest Workers Justice Project. “The summer before last when we had bad smoke, everyone was caught flat-footed.” The Portland-based project advocates for low-wage workers.
During the 2020 Labor Day weekend wildfires, many farmworkers harvested crops while breathing unhealthy levels of smoke. In 2021, extreme heat led to the death of an Oregon farmworker. This year state officials hope to avoid any harm thanks to two new sets of rules that became permanent June 15. They primarily affect the agriculture, forestry and construction industries, which employ more than 300,000 people in Oregon, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Outlook improves for a third straight La Nina
July 15, 2022
By Don Jenkins
The National Weather Service on July 14 increased the odds that a La Nina will prevail for a third straight winter, a climate phenomenon linked to ample Northwest snowpacks.
A La Nina has a 66% chance of being in place by early winter, according to the service’s Climate Prediction Center. A month ago, the center pegged the chances at 59%.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a wholesale change,” Washington State Climatologist Nick Bond said. “If we’re talking about next winter, it’s still a long ways away.”
During a La Nina, cool sea-surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean trigger changes in the tropical atmosphere. A La Nina formed in September 2020 and has persisted except for a brief period in 2021.
It’s Not Your Imagination—This Is a Tough Year for Oregon Summer Fruit
July 15, 2022
By Matthew Trueherz 
The strawberries were the tell.
Normally, Oregon strawberries are summer’s first calling card, petite, wine-red Hoods and candy-colored Albions heralding the long-awaited return of the sun.
This year, what made it to markets was—in many cases—a flavorless, water-logged shadow of one of the state’s most celebrated berries, courtesy of a surprise April cold snap followed by an exceptionally rainy spring. That weather now threatens to limit fruit supplies into February of 2023, costing the state’s farmers millions of dollars.
Bird flu outbreak, first of its kind in 7 years, creates challenges for Central Oregon farmer
July 15, 2022
By Jamie Diep
Farming is a family affair for Cameron Gunther. His parents were farmers, and he now runs a small poultry farm, Home Farm Foods, with his mother in Culver, Oregon. Their 4,000 chickens can produce up to 250 dozen eggs every day. That may sound big, but Gunther says that doesn’t translate into a big cushion for unexpected problems.
“We don’t have these huge savings accounts that these big farms have,” Gunther said. He made the tough choice to close access to his farm after a form of avian flu, that can be deadly for wild birds and poultry, was found in the nearby city of Bend.
“If we went positive for avian I think we would go under,” Gunther said.
For Gunther, it was voluntary. Farms within 10 kilometers of infected property fall within a quarantine zone, which covers most of Bend. Nearby poultry farmers outside of that area may also take preventative measures.
Food aid has big impact on U.S. wheat industry
July 15, 2022
By Matthew Weaver
In some years, the value of food aid donations can be the equivalent of a Top 10 customer for wheat grown by U.S. farmers, according to an expert at U.S. Wheat Associates, the trade arm of the U.S. wheat industry.
Wheat donations for food aid have averaged 970,000 metric tons in the last five marketing years, and have reached more than 1 million metric tons in the last two years, said Shelbi Knisley, director of trade policy for U.S. Wheat Associates.
"Food aid is very important to our farmers," she said. "That's a large market."
Knisley spoke about food aid July 12 during the Idaho Wheat Commission's "From the Field" podcast.
DEQ launches tool to improve public access to water quality data
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has released a new online tool that will give the public greater access to water quality monitoring data. The Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships Data Viewer is an interactive tool that displays monitoring data collected by Oregon’s Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships, a voluntary program co-managed by DEQ and the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
Oregonians who want to know what pesticides are in their local streams can now easily access monitoring results through data viewer. “The development and release of this new tool directly supports DEQ’s efforts to improve transparency and provide easy access to environmental data,” says Jennifer Wigal, DEQ’s Water Quality Administrator.
The tool provides access to current and historic pesticide water quality data that DEQ and the Department of Agriculture use to inform the management of the program, which monitors for more than 130 chemicals in Oregon surface waters. Read more...

The Oregon Department of Agriculture is expanding a regional quarantine around Bend, Ore., limiting the movement of poultry and poultry products after detecting more cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Read more
Every five years, Congress passes a Farm Bill, which encompasses a wide range of issues, including conservation, rural development, forestry, and nutrition. Since the 2018 Farm Bill will expire in 2023, Congress has begun to hold hearings and receive input about the next iteration of the bill. 

A federal appeals court has rejected claims that irrigation, pesticides and grazing in several Klamath Basin national wildlife refuges are managed in violation of environmental laws. Read more
Employment opportunities shared by our neighbors
Medford Irrigation District - Ditch Rider/Relief Ditch Rider
Starting Wage: $20.50 DOE
Benefits (After 120-days probationary period): Health insurance (medical, dental, vision, and life), PERS Retirement, Sick, and Vacation.
Location: 5045 Jacksonville Hwy., Central Point, OR 97502
This full-time position is being advertised on 27th April 2022 until filled. Applications/resumes should be submitted to the District office at 5045 Jacksonville Hwy, Central Point, OR 97502. To view the full job announcement, visit our website at:
The specific statements shown in each section of this job description are not intended to be all-inclusive. They represent typical elements and criteria necessary to successfully perform the job and meet the needs of the district.
Swalley Irrigation District – Field Technician
Swalley is hiring for an additional ditch rider/field tech. With or without experience, you are encouraged to apply. Prior experience as a ditch rider, field-hand, field-technician, irrigator, or water operator specializing in irrigation and or mechanical maintenance will be considered a bonus. Top candidates will receive an interview and interviews will be held until the position is filled. Start date is flexible and negotiable.
Assignment to the position is through an open, competitive process and will be based on evaluation of merit, qualification, experience, and character. Starting wage for this position is competitive with similar jobs in Deschutes County and negotiable depending on experience. The position offers generous medical, vision, dental, life, AD&D, 401a and 457b retirement benefits.
To apply, go to the Swalley website and download the Field Tech Application and Job Description documents.
Tumalo Irrigation District – Ditch Rider
Starting Wage: $22.00 to $25.00 DOE
Benefits (after 6-month probationary period): Health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), District contribution to Retirement plan, 8 paid holidays/year, 5-15 days paid vacation/year (based on tenure), 10 days paid sick leave/year, District vehicle.
Location: Bend, OR
This full-time position is being advertised November 2021 until filled. Applications/ resume should be submitted to the District office at To view full job announcement visit our website at:
The mission of Klamath Irrigation District is to acquire, maintain, assure, and deliver an adequate water supply for beneficial use on qualified land with the Klamath Project. We represent our Patrons before government agencies, the legislature, Congress, and in such forms as appropriate for the perfection and protection of their water rights. 

We defend the District from actions which would diminish our effectiveness and function. 

We further promote the conservation of water, soil, and other natural resources.