In the Flow
District news & updates
5 April 2023 Update
Klamath Project receives $8.75M to study, repair canals...

The Klamath Project will receive $8.75 million to study and repair aging water infrastructure as part of a $585 million federal outlay announced Wednesday, April 5. Funding will be provided to 83 projects in 11 states this year to increase...

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Top Photo: A bridge across the Main Canal (Formerly Ankeny Canal, now known as the "A" Canal) on 24 October 1907. This photo is of Bridge #4, likely at Eberline near the current location of the YMCA.
Bottom Photo: Excavation to widen and reroute the former Ankeny Canal encountered a hot spring shown steaming in the background on 13 February 1907. This photo is likely near the Washburn Way crossing.
Department of the Interior announces an $8.75 Million investment for the Klamath Irrigation District in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Repair Aging Water Infrastructure, Advanced Drought Resilience.
Klamath A Canal Reclamation Funding: $5M
Planning Study for rehabilitation using Cement-Bentonite Slurry Walls. Klamath Irrigation District would also look at piping the canal for approximately 9 miles using HDPE Pipes. (High-density polyethylene)

Klamath C Canal Reclamation Funding: $3.75M
Slurry cutoff wall for approximately one mile near Henley High School. Retrofit a check structure and modify one flume.

Many thanks for this funding announcement are due to the efforts of the KBAO Reclamation Staff (past and present) and Jeff Payne, Julie, Amanda, and BJ with Farmers Conservation Alliance (and many other FCA partners), Klamath Water Users Association, The Ferguson Group, and others who have been advocating for the District modernization.

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Shearer. Wildfowl on the Klamath Drainage District recharge on farmland in the former bed of the Lower Klamath Lake as the Lower Klamath and Tulelake National Wildlife Refuges do not have enough water and food to sustain wildlife and continued waterfowl migration. This is primarily due to the water which would have naturally filled this space being diverted to the Klamath River this past winter by demand of the National Marine Fisheries Service.
In this Issue:
  • Upcoming Events
  • 2023 Irrigation Season UPDATE
  • Related Political Issues Destroying our Communities
  • Dam Removal Update
  • News Stories Impacting Our Communities
  • Funding Opportunities and News / Press Releases
  • Recently published interactive Story Maps
First Foods...How the humble potato changed the world

In his 1957 essay collection Mythologies, the French philosopher and literary critic Roland Barthes called chips ( la frite), a food that comes from a crop native to the Americas, "patriotic" and "the alimentary sign of Frenchness".

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Oregon State University Extension Center
OSU events outside the local area
Apr 19
9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Apr 25
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm PDT Online

May 3 - Oct 11
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Central Point, OR

May 4
5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Central Point, OR

May 10
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm PDT Online

May 17
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Central Point, OR

Jun 8
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT Online

Jun 30
Baker City, OR
Sep 12 -
Dec 12
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm Central Point, OR
In this edition:

  • Secretary Haaland Meets with Klamath Project Farmers
  • Exciting Work From Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center”
  • 4-H & Fairgrounds Fundraisr
  • What a Winter!
  • The Humble Potato
  • Lost History: Tule Lake Outlet Pits
  • KBREC: Let Your Voices Be Heard
  • When is a rodeo not a rodeo but, instead, a ranch rodeo?
  • Klamath Drainage District: It’s for the Birds

2023 Irrigation Season Outlook
Reclamation directs a delay in irrigation deliveries and diversions of water from Upper Klamaath Lake.
OWRD issues curtailment orders directing non-Klamath Reclamation Project and other junior water users that no water is currently available.
Reclamation's Latest Hydrology Update
Although the Klamath Basin is receiving near average snowpack, precipitation this water year has been below average yet again. Inflows to Upper Klamath Lake continue to underperform and set 118 year record lows. All while excessive flows are demanded to be released over the natural Keno reef by downriver stakeholders claiming biased science demands it.

Reclamation issues projections for this irrigation season which does not model irrigation deliveries prior to 1 May 2023.

Reclamation's 28 February 2023 letter to Districts - no water currently available

"This letter is to notify you that water is currently unavailable from Upper Klamath Lake (UKL) and the Klamath River for irrigation purposes for all irrigators within the Klamath Project (Project) for the reasons further explained below. Accordingly, you and/or your district are hereby directed to delay diversions of water from UKL and the Klamath River until further notice. At this time, the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) anticipates this delay to be at least through May 1, 2023."

Reclamation response to K.I.D.'s 2023 water up plan.

"All districts, including KID, have a standing direction to delay diversions of water for any purpose, including water-up, from UKL and the Klamath River until further notice. At this time, Reclamation anticipates that the earliest availability of water supply from the Klamath Project would be May 1, 2023. Reclamation cannot at this time predict the exact date, or in what quantity, Klamath Project supplies will become available. Accordingly, we request that KID alter its plan to acknowledge a potential delay in Klamath Project water supply beyond May 1."

Prior to the development of the Klamath Reclamation Project, Lower Klamath Lake covered over 88,600 acres which evaporated at least 3 feet of water per acre per year (or no less than 264,900 acre-feet of water every year), the Lost River Slough overflow took thousands of acre-feet of water away from the Klamath River in wet years, the Lost River never spilled into the Klamath River, and the natural Keno reef impounded the waters maintaining the Lower Klamath Lake in the Klamath basin above Keno until water volumes allowed the lake to rise enough to spill. See the 1917 map below showing the water levels as the Tule Lake was being dewatered and the railroad dike constructed across the Lower Klamath Lake.

How much of the water that naturally evaporated from Lower Klamath Lake will Klamath Reclamation Project irrigators have access to this year? Well, it is all based upon a model with numerous flaws and biases...but current estimates indicate the volume will be less than the minimum of 264,900 acre-feet that would have naturally evaporated from Lower Klamath Lake.

Will the volume of water be enough to get our refuges healthy and prevent botulism this fall? Unlikely as they have been turned into a desert over the past 25 years of biased science; the refuges will take at least 3x the amount of time and water to fix what has been done to destroy them.
In the coming weeks, Oregon Water Resources Department will begin regulating junior surface water right holders in the Klamath Basin to protect senior instream determined claims. A recent federal court ruling provided guidance to the Department with respect to water releases from Upper Klamath Lake (UKL).  This year, regulation of 12 additional junior water rights that divert from UKL or tributaries to the lake will occur, including users on Fourmile Creek.

In previous years, the Klamath Tribes have routinely submitted calls in early March and November requesting regulation of junior water rights to protect their senior instream determined claims. The Watermaster staff in the Klamath Basin have regulated off junior users of surface water since 2013, on streams such as the Wood River, Crooked Creek, and the Sprague and Williamson Rivers. The Tribal calls for regulation often include a call on determined claim KA 622, which protects lake elevations in Upper Klamath Lake. Previously, the Water Resources Department has not validated the call on UKL elevations due to releases of water from UKL at the Link River Dam.
Oregon Water Resources Department begins regulation on more water users, to include Medford and Talent draws from the Klamath Watershed
Pursuant to the recent federal court ruling, the Department will validate the call for determined claim KA 622 and will send regulation orders out to junior water right holders in early March 2023. The Department wanted to make you aware of this change in water management and regulation in the region.
There are approximately one dozen junior water rights that are subject to regulation (and have not been regulated in the past) to protect the KA 622 determined claim on UKL. Two irrigation districts in the Rogue Basin, the Medford Irrigation District and the Rogue River Valley Irrigation District hold junior water rights to store water in Fourmile Lake. Fourmile Lake is at the head of Fourmile Creek, which is tributary to UKL, and the storage of water in Fourmile Lake normally occurs during the fall and winter. The Districts then convey the stored water out of the Klamath Basin into the Rogue Basin for irrigation use. Regulation notices to junior users are anticipated to be issued in March 2023. As these 12 water rights have not been regulated in the past, the Water Resources Department wanted to make you aware.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact me at 971-283-6010 or by email at
Related Political Issues Effecting Our Communities
County supervisors from Klamath, Modoc, and Siskiyou...

Klamath County is ranked 5th in total agricultural farm gate value out of 36 counties and is first in total organic agricultural revenue for the State of Oregon. The Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center (KBREC) exists to support this...

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Photo courtesy of Rodney Cheyne overlooking the National Mall from the U.S. Captial Building...looking west towards the Washington Monument, the Pentagon (out of view), and towards home.
Klamath Water Users Association visit to D.C. last week
The Ferguson Group facilitated the visit from 6 members of our community to numerous D.C. offices last week.

Scheduled visits included the Department of the Interior and Bureau of Reclamation, The National Marine Fisheries Service and NOAA, the staffs of Senators Feinstein, Padilla, Wyden, the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, the House Subcommittee on WWF Hearings, Senate subcommittee of EWD, Representatives LaMalfa and Bentz,

Yurok Tribe files amended motion to curtail and take control of the Klamath Reclamation Project undermining the Klamath Adjudication.
Yurok Tribe, fishing groups sue to halt Klamath Project...

KLAMATH, Calif. - A northern California tribe is pushing the federal government to stop water deliveries for irrigation in the Klamath Project unless the Bureau of Reclamation can demonstrate it has met all legal requirements for endangered...

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Groups sue feds over Klamath River flows

In a case that could hamper water deliveries for farmers, a Northern California tribe and two fisheries groups are suing the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation over its decision in February to reduce flows in the Klamath River to keep more water in the...

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Amy Cordalis (Yurok Tribal Counsel) and Patti Goldman (Earth Justice) claim "This Supplemental Complaint challenges the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Project January 2023 Temporary Operating Procedure...Mismanagement of the Klamath Project has severely diminished the Tribe’s
ability to exercise its reserved fishing rights...

NMFS concluded that the 2021 and 2022
TOPs would not cause adverse effects on SONCC Coho Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales beyond what NMFS considered in the 2019 Biological Opinion.

This Supplemental Complaint challenges the 2023 TOP for violating the ESA because: (1) Reclamation has not engaged in ESA Section 7(a)(2) consultation with NMFS on going below mandatory Klamath River minimum flows; and (2) implementation of the 2023 TOP is likely to cause and in fact has already caused the unlawful take of threatened SONCC Coho Salmon by desiccating salmon redds, the depressions where female salmon lay their eggs, and diminishing rearing habitat for young salmon in early spring.

This Supplemental Complaint also challenges the 2023 TOP for failing to provide the mandatory minimum flows required by the 2019 Plan and IOP. In addition, the Supplemental Complaint challenges Reclamation’s Finding of No Significant Impact (“FONSI”) and Supplemental Environmental Assessment (Supplemental “EA”) prepared on the 2023 TOP under the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) because they are arbitrary and capricious and contrary to the record before Reclamation.

In addition to seeking declaratory relief as to these claims, the Yurok Tribe asks the Court to issue an injunction prohibiting Reclamation from delivering water for irrigation unless it can meet its full ESA obligations to SONCC Coho Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales as set out in the 2019 NMFS Biological Opinion, 2019 Plan, and IOP, and have sufficient water in UKL at the end of the water year to meet such obligations the following year."


WHEREFORE, plaintiffs (Yurok Tribe) respectfully request that this Court:

A. Declare that Reclamation is in violation of Section 7 of the ESA because it has adopted and is implementing the 2023 TOP without completing formal consultation and/or
because Reclamation and NMFS have not completed reinitiated formal consultation on
operations of the Klamath Project that allow Klamath River flows to go below the mandatory minimum flows in the 2019 Biological Opinion and the 2019 Plan;

B. Declare that Reclamation’s reduction of Klamath River flows below the minimum flows in the 2019 Biological Opinion and 2019 Plan is reasonably certain to cause the take of threatened SONCC Coho Salmon in violation of Section 9 of the ESA;

C. Declare that the 2023 TOP is arbitrary and capricious and violates Reclamation’s 2019 Plan as amended by the IOP, in violation of the Reclamation Act of 1905 and the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A);

D. Issue an injunction prohibiting Reclamation from delivering water for irrigation unless Reclamation can meet its full ESA obligations to SONCC Coho Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales, including providing at least the Biological Opinion’s minimum flows every month of the year, allocating water to and distributing water from the Environmental Water Account in accordance with the 2019 Biological Opinion, providing enhanced flows in accordance with the 2019 Biological Opinion, providing augmentation flows in accordance with
the IOP, and providing a full surface flushing flow complying with the provisions of the 2019
Biological Opinion;

E. Further prohibit Reclamation from delivering water for irrigation unless it UKL will have an elevation of 4139.2 feet on September 30th, while complying with 2019 NMFS Biological Opinion and IOP, to ensure that UKL will refill over the fall-winter to levels needed for Reclamation to meet its full ESA obligations to SONCC Coho Salmon and Southern Resident Killer Whales;

F. Declare that Reclamation’s Supplemental EA and FONSI are arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to NEPA in violation of the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 706(2)(A); G. Award plaintiffs their reasonable fees, expenses, costs, and disbursements, including attorneys’ fees associated with this litigation under the ESA, 16 U.S.C. § 1540(g)(4), and the Equal Access to Justice Act 28 U.S.C. § 2412; and

H. Grant plaintiffs such further and additional relief as the Court may deem just and
Dam Removal Update

The Intiso Taxpayer Lawsuit is scheduled for a hearing at 9:30 AM on Thursday April 6, 2023 at courtroom 2, Siskiyou County Superior CourtThe request for Temporary Restraining Order against continued funding of the KRRC (Klamath River Renewal Corporation). The court is being asked to issue a temporary restraining order pending a trial on the issue of illegal expenditure of funds by the State of California Department of Natural Resources from the 2014 Proposition entitled Water Storage and Water Quality Act. The Proposition never mentioned the largest dam removal in history of the world and specifically stated that no funds would be expended on a project which had a adverse impact on a designated “Wild and Scenic River”. The Klamath River is so designated both Federally and State. The FERC (Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission) in its voluminous EIR/ EIS specifically states in several hundred places that the removal of the Klamath Hydroelectric facilities will adversely impact the Klamath River for an indefinite period of time. No specific mitigation measures are listed for the indicated adverse impacts.
Ag advocates worry their message has been lost during...

More stakeholders got to speak in favor of the Snake River dams during Day 2 of a federal public listening session, but agricultural leaders still worry farmers' interests were getting lost in the conversation. About 15 people spoke in favor of...

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Klamath countdown: Researchers hustle before largest...

Next year will be the big year. By the end of 2024 the Lower Klamath River will run free for the first time in a century, enabling fish like salmon and steelhead to reclaim 400 miles of river habitat in California and Oregon.

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Calif. Tribe's Bid To Halt Trinity River Winter Flow...

By Peter McGuire (March 24, 2023, 3:28 PM EDT) -- A California federal judge rejected the Hoopa Valley Tribe's bid to halt a winter water release from a dam on the Trinity River, ruling the benefits of the early outflow outweighed harm to the...

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Update from Family Farm Alliance
March 2023 "Monthly Briefing" Now Available!

"This conference was a great way to show off the Alliance," said Mr. Keppen. "I would like to thank our board, Advisory Committee, Mark Limbaugh, Norm Semanko, Josh Rolph, and Jane Townsend - our conference planner and fundraising coordinator -...

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News Stories Impacting our Communities
C-SPAN StudentCam 2023 Honorable Mention - Water: Beauty ...

C-SPAN StudentCam 2023 Honorable Mention - Water: Beauty of the Basin

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Food Security is National Security!
It's Time to Talk about Food and Agriculture Security

Guest post by Dr. Krista Versteeg, Senior Scientific Advisor and Biosurety Manager in the Science and Technology Directorate's (S&T) Office of National Laboratories (ONL). When large scale threats affect food and agriculture supplies, they become ...

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Agriculture needs to step up to safeguard future

With "outsiders" gaining more influence and promoting the idea the food system is broken, many farmers are concerned about who will call the shots for agriculture in the future, an industry adviser and author says.

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DHS Fact Sheet on National Security Memorandum-16 |...

On November 10, President Biden signed National Security Memorandum-16 (NSM-16) on Strengthening the Security and Resilience of United States Food and Agriculture. The NSM assigns key roles to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)...

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Ag groups laud Senate action to overturn WOTUS rule

Groups representing farmers and ranchers are applauding Senate passage of a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval of the Biden administration's "Waters of the United States" rule, known as WOTUS.

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Oregon State Profs Spar Over Feds' Tree-Removal Policy - ...

An ecology professor at Oregon State University rebuked her colleague over his support for new regulations that weaken protections for large trees in the Pacific Northwest, telling a federal judge that scientists are divided on whether such trees ...

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Trade Groups Say WOTUS Definition 'Hopelessly Vague' -...

A new rule broadening federal authority under the Clean Water Act is sowing confusion and economic disruption across the industry sectors, 18 trade groups told a North Dakota federal judge, imploring the court to strike down the "waters of the...

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Judge Sinks Kentucky's, Biz Groups' WOTUS Rule Challenge ...

The Kentucky attorney general and a variety of business groups on Friday lost their bid to challenge the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers' rule defining the scope of the Clean Water Act, as a federal judge found...

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House Democrat 'beyond frustrated' over cap-and-trade...

OLYMPIA - The House agriculture committee chairman said Tuesday he regrets voting for cap-and-trade, saying the Washington Department of Ecology has failed to shield farmers from higher fuel bills.

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EPA approves California rules phasing out diesel trucks

SACRAMENTO - The Biden administration cleared the way Friday for California's plan to phase out a wide range of diesel-powered trucks, part of the state's efforts to drastically cut planet-warming emissions and improve air quality in...

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National Academies Report to Support National Native Seed...

The insufficient supply of native seeds currently means that restoration efforts frequently substitute nonnative varieties or native seeds sourced from climatically different environments than where they will be planted — damaging ecosystem balance

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Oregon farmers participate in needs assessment for...

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State University is finalizing an assessment asking farmers and ranchers across the state what they need to better weather extreme heat and drought. The project was funded in 2021 as part of a larger $100 million...

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Higher farm expenses bring a lot of uncertainty

This is going to be an expensive year for farmers, with higher prices and interest rates upping the ante for production agriculture. Interest rates have increased dramatically, jumping 75% from two years ago, said John Newton, chief economist...

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Historic investments to benefit Klamath Basin Refuges...

"There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country," said President Theodore Roosevelt, who established Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge on March 14, 1903. This was the first of many refuges which would eventually...

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Funding Opportunities and News / Press Releases
Recent Story Map Projects
A Brief History of the Klamath Irrigation District

and the Klamath Reclamation Project

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Wetlands, Waterbirds, and Water

A visual journey through a century of change

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Stories from Klamath River Basin

Water Solutions Network

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Preparing the Klamath Basin for Dam Removal

A StoryMap Spotlighting Collaborative Efforts to Enhance Fish Passage in the Klamath River Basin in Honor of World Fish Migration Day 2020 with a moderate amount of misinformation.

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The Klamath River - A Tribal Perspective

The purpose of this story map is to explore the perception of damage that dams have done to the native culture and river's ecosystem.

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Employment Opportunities
2023 Klamath County Job Fair

" All Events Are you looking for a job? Come down to our Job Fair! We have lots of potential employers that want to meet you! This could be your ticket to finding your dream job, you never know! The job fair will take place at the Klamath County...

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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.