25 November 2022 update from Klamath Irrigation District

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Upcoming Events

K.I.D. December Meeting of the Board of Directors

15 December 2022 at 10a.m. in the K.I.D. HQ.

Visit our Website for more information

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Klamath Water Users Association December Meeting of the Board of Directors

12 December 2022 at 2p.m. in the KWUA Conference Room.

Visit the KWUA Website.

Read KWUA's October Newsletter

Fill the Lake

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Department of the Interior Klamath Basin Workshop

December 14 and 15. DOI with its federal and state agency partners gather to discuss science and opportunities for funding.

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Klamath Soil and Water Conservation District December Board of Directors Meeting

CHANGE: 15 December 2022

Klamath Soil and Water Conservation District board of Directors meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. and will be held in the USDA conference room at 1945 Main Street

Visit the KS&WCD website

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EVENTS | Family Farm Alliance Annual Conference

The Annual Meeting and Conference is an opportunity for farmers and water professionals from throughout the west to focus on topics of critical concern. Each year, a wide variety of speakers address the issues that make a difference to irrigators.

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Endangered Species Act Law Conference

26-27 January 2023

30th Annual Endangered Species Act conference is a two-day seminar in which ESA practitioners, agency officials, and scientists provide the latest and most important information you’ll need for ESA compliance.

This conference will help attorneys, businesses, conservation organizations, and government staff to understand the complexities of the law.

The program will provide updates on federal litigation, legislative and regulatory changes, updates to the Section 7 consultation process and Section 4 listings, as well as ethical and litigation considerations. It will also offer practical insights and an opportunity to network with experts and colleagues.

Registration Link

Tribes Urge Judge To Find Ore. Irrigation Plan Violated ESA - Law360

By Ali Sullivan (November 22, 2022, 7:20 PM EST) -- Oregon Native American tribes have urged a federal judge to find that the U.S. government violated the Endangered Species Act when it agreed to an irrigation plan to drain water from a lake inhabited by two endangered fish species....

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K.I.D. Maintenance Season Priorities

During the fall / winter maintenance cycle, K.I.D. is focusing our resources following the following priorities.

F-4 Lateral Piping

Klamath Irrigation District plans to complete the 2020 WaterSMART grant project to pipe 1 mile of the F-4 lateral in Poe Valley. This project is designed to eliminate seepage and evaporation from this 1-mile stretch, reduce weed control costs, and reduce annual maintenance costs. This is a 50% cost share with Reclamation with an estimated total project cost near $500,000.

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Photo of the A Canal by Will Matsuda for The New York Times

A D & F Canal Emergency Repairs

As a result of a poor policy decision by Reclamation in 2021, the canals were dry for over 18 months. When water was introduced to the system in March of 2022, the District identified numerous issues, some resulting in emergency repairs. This maintenance season, the District will inspect the emergency repairs and address other noted issues once the canals are dewatered.

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Photo of a dry Spring Lake by Holly Dillemuth / JPR News

Spring Lake Flood Control Structure Emergency Replacement

In 2022 a flood control structure and crossing for the Spring Lake sump failed. K.I.D. will repair this structure this season. As the lake is dry for the first time in known history, conducting the repairs early will reduce costs as to not need to lower the lake for flood control purposes.

Photo of the C-G Siphon construction in September 1921. Available for review at the Shaw Library.

C-G Siphon Inspection and Repair

In 2019 Reclamation identified some problem areas in the C-G siphon. With the Lost River Diversion Channel dewatered, K.I.D. maintenance personnel will accompany Reclamation's inspection team to immediately address any issues to prevent a future dewatering for maintenance activities.

Photo of a farm truck which exceeded the 10 ton load rating on a K.I.D. maintained bridge. Heavy vehicles crossing these bridges result in excessive damage.

Bridge and crossing repairs and replacements

The ditchriders have submitted their annual reports for structures which have failed or are about to fail. These structures are prioritized for repair or replacement in our risk assessment analysis.

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Dewatering the A Canal Headworks and Fish Screen cleaning

Routine cleaning of the fish screen at the A Canal Headworks is required to ensure adequate water flow through the screen without excessive head pressure which could damage the screen or create conditions for the emergency breakaway panels to engage. Pre-operation inspections, lubrication, and conditions checks will be performed prior to opening the gates in March 2023.

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D Canal System Improvement Plan

K.I.D. continues to coordinate with Farmers Conservation Alliance and SHN Engineering to evalute and develop a system improvement plan for the D Canal system to improve efficiencies to minimize losses between the G Canal to on-farm deliveries.

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1908 Klamath Project Map

#5 Drain Pump Troubleshooting

Initial inspection of the#5 drain pump at resulted in an assessment the pump requires a rebuild. The maintenance team will inspect the pump and determine the extent of the repairs required.

Southwell - B Canal Headworks

B Canal Headgate Emergency Repair

The cables controlling the operation of the B Canal failed late in the 2022 irrigation season. Once the A Canal is dewatered, the maintenance team will inspect the gate for damage and make necessary repairs.

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Melhase Pump Repair

This summer, one of the electrical components of the Melhase-Ryan pumpstation failed. The maintenance team will reinstall the motor once the repairs are complete.

Stukel Pump Troubleshooting

Initial inspection of the #3 pump at the Stukel pumpstation resulted in an assessment the pump requires a rebuild. The maintenance team will inspect the pump and determine the extent of the repairs required.

Routine turnout and control structure replacements

The ditchriders have submitted their annual reports for structures which have failed or are about to fail. These structures are prioritized for replacement as resources allow. With over 50 years of deferred maintenance, a great deal of work is required to address the failing infrastructure. Unfortunately, none of the federal funding to address failing infrastructure is currently programed to be applied within the District.


Weather Forecast

Water Supply Update

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Fourth straight year of projected lower than average inflow to Upper Klamath Lake...however, no change in water management approach by Reclamation anticipated.

Over the last three years, a very clear pattern has played out, each time with no reasonable action by the agency. River releases are maintained all winter while inflows to Upper Klamath Lake simultaneously underperform, preventing the lake from refilling prior to spring.

Upper Klamath Lake is arguably the greatest natural reservoir in the Western United States and its inherent function is being undermined at the very time when the environment and humanity need it the most – a prolonged drought. Fundamentally, that’s why water is stored.

As of November 21, 2022, the National Weather Service is forecasting approximately 400,000 acre-feet of inflow to Upper Klamath Lake through the end of March 2023.  If releases occur at the currently scheduled rates, Upper Klamath Lake will be at an elevation of just below 4,142.0 feet by April 1, over one foot below the elevation necessary to meet various obligations.

Read KWUA's plan to fill the lake

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Oregon Water Resource Department unlikely to issue Emergency Groundwater Permits in 2023

The Klamath Project should not expect any different approach next year from what we saw from OWRD with respect to emergency well permits in 2022. OWRD is not likely to grant them. 

This conclusion is based on a discussion with Tom Paul and his response to the recent fall well-level measurements. It is likely OWRD has already made this decision despite any ground water recovery observed from well readings this coming March.

State of emergency: More than 100 wells now dry in Klamath County

A drought state of emergency has been declared for Klamath County. During the Klamath County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Nov. 8, the local Emergency Management declared a state of emergency due to the impact the drought has had on more than 100 domestic wells. Those wells are now dry.

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K.I.D. and K.B.I.D. 2023 Assessments

Klamath Irrigation District

Klamath Irrigation District’s board of directors approved the 2023 budget on 14 November 2022. The directors held a lengthy discussion about the budget, the future of the District, and our current expenditures. 


Klamath Irrigation District approves its annual budget and assesses all patrons with an annual assessment per acre as outlined in Oregon Revised Statute 545.381 as required by K.I.D.’s contract with the Bureau of Reclamation.

The last K.I.D. annual increase was approved in November of 2013. Core annual inflation since 2013 through 2022 is calculated to be 27.56% (meaning something that cost $1 in January 2014 now costs more than $1.27 on average).


2022 inflation on fuel (28%), materials (50-300%), electricity (12% effective 1 January 2023), equipment replacement/repair and other key resources the District utilizes significantly outpaces the standard annual inflation measured by the CPI.

There is an inverse correlation between water availability and legal costs. When water is readily available, K.I.D.’s litigation activities and costs are low. When water is threatened or in short supply, activities related to litigation greatly increase the time spent on legal and lobbying, thus increasing costs.

Therefore, K.I.D.'s 2023 assessment increased to $85.75 per acre. Read the letter sent to K.I.D. patrons with their annual assessment explaining the rate increase. This year we included both an invoice and a statement so that patrons may understand how credits were applied in 2022.

Klamath Basin Improvement District

Klamath Basin Improvement District’s board of directors approved the 2023 budget on 15 November 2022. The K.B.I.D directors also held a lengthy discussion about the budget, the future of the District, and current expenditures. 


Klamath Basin Improvement District approves its annual budget and assesses all patrons with an annual assessment per acre as outlined in Oregon Revised Statute 552.325 and 552.608 as required by K.B.I.D.’s various contracts with KID and other districts.


The K.B.I.D. assessment was set at $66 per acre for 2023.

News Stories Recently Shared With K.I.D.

Thanksgiving dinner cost up 20% from last year

Hosting a Thanksgiving feast for a party of 10 this month could cost 20% more than last year, according to a national survey from the American Farm Bureau Federation. The survey found U.S. consumers will pay, on average, $64.05 for a Thanksgiving meal for 10, up from last year's average of $53.31.

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Farmers' share of the food dollar remains low

Although consumers are paying more for their Thanksgiving dinner this year almost none of that increase is being passed on to farmers and ranchers, according to the National Farmers Union. NFU on Monday released its 2022 Farmer's Share of the Thanksgiving Food Dollar, showing farmers this year will only receive 12.3%.

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Press Release: Farm Groups Highlight the Importance of Alfalfa in the Face of Ongoing Western Drought

With drought conditions continuing to blanket the Western U.S., and farmers struggling to find adequate water supplies, competing interests are pressuring the federal government to cut the water supply farmers are using to grow our food, including alfalfa, which is a foundational food chain crop.

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RURAL ROOTS: Rainshadow Organics

As we grow our Irrigation Modernization Program, we're inspired by stories of farmers and ranchers who have already modernized and are realizing the benefits of an updated system.

Political Issues Impacting The District

The world's largest dam removal will touch many lives in the Klamath River Basin

Looking down at a pool filled with Klamath River salmon swimming back to their spawning grounds, Karuk Tribal Councilor Aaron "Troy" Hockaday says he can't wait to see what the future holds for them. "These fish right here give me hope," he said. Gravely said dam removal alone will not put more water in the river, and it won’t alleviate the painful water shortages that have worsened with drought over the last several years.

Opponents of dam removal say they’re worried farmers might have to give up irrigation water to flush out the sediment stored behind the dams. And they’ve expressed doubts that dam removal will be all that beneficial for salmon, considering that scientists can’t guarantee the salmon won’t be harmed by all the sediment flowing downriver after the dams come out.

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Congressman LaMalfa Opposing the Decommission of the Lower Klamath Hydroelectric Project

“California’s quest to remove these perfectly good dams continues. Now the taxpayers of California and Oregon will be on the hook due to this agreement to pick up a multi-billion dollar expense for the cost and liability of the inevitable environmental damage this project will cause. Removing these dams will do nothing to help fish but will destroy water storage needed for firefighting and will bankrupt Siskiyou County. 

“Let’s face it, the State of California has a terrible history of managing dams and completing large projects. After the Oroville Dam spillway crisis in 2017, the grossly expensive Bay Bridge project, and the failed High Speed Rail, it would be foolish to assume California can well-manage projects of significant scope. Removing these dams will be difficult and will inevitably cause more harm than good to ratepayers, taxpayers, and the fish the state is claiming to protect.

“The dams themselves are a benefit to our overloaded power grid and the local area economy. Especially in a year where power is a precious commodity and in short supply at times, removing this reliable, renewable, and cost-effective energy source will harm Basin-area residents, Oregon ratepayers, and our already stretched state grid.”

Bentz, LaMalfa Release Statement on FERC Decision Regarding Klamath Dams

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Reps.

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Bentz attacks FERC's 'disappointing and outrageous' decision to remove 4 Klamath River dams - KTVZ

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Reps. Cliff Bentz (OR-02) Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) released a statement Friday sharply critical of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's decision paving the way for removal of four Klamath River dams. Here's their full statement:.

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K.I.D.'s Executive Director, Gene Souza, provides his thoughts on FERC’s recent notice to remove 4 dams on the Klamath Ricer.

"The unnaturally and unnecessary high flows in the Klamath River demanded in the National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion cannot be physically maintained while preparation work is setting conditions as demanded on page 91 in the footer of the document published today. Flows will have to be reduced for some of the work to occur. The noted lack of coordination between stakeholders on the timing in these efforts will cause continued problems across the watershed, ecosystems, and economies.

I would ask you to relook the damage currently being created…and examine the superfund site about to be created by this political action.

I am deeply troubled that 11,000 endangered C’waam and Kaptu (sucker fish) behind these dams have been issued a death sentence. There appears to be no worry by any group that these endangered species are being harmed.

There is a complete lack of acknowledgement that the NMFS BiOp is not in line with and unsupported with the spirit of the ESA. Furthermore, the “science” presented by NMFS is widely known to be biased and irrelevant to the threatened coho. I can share a draft literature review with you to clearly provide evidence the excessive water going into the Klamath River is not beneficial to the threatened coho. I would also state that this excessive water release is counter to Oregon Klamath Tribes claims for specific water elevations in Upper Klamath Lake.

FERC has no authority over Reclamation…and that does not seem to matter.

16 U.S. Code § 821 is being ignored. The rule of law has collapsed. State laws and water rights are being affected. "Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed as affecting or intending to affect or in any way to interfere with the laws of the respective States relating to the control, appropriation, use, or distribution of water used in irrigation or for municipal or other uses, or any vested right acquired therein."

I have challenged the 2013 agreement Richard Whitman made with the Yurok to undermine the ACFFOD; Klamath Irrigation District won in court which would have negated this unjust agreement which undermined the rule of law…just for our victory to be overturned by my own state for a “lack of joining the federal parties”.

Please pause. Ask the hard questions. And analyze the significant damage about to occur in my homeland."

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Capt. William E. Simpson II - USMM (Ret) discusses dam removal with Bill Meyer

Simpson's segment starts at the 20-minute mark:



Does Capt Simpson's claim have merit? Read the Report to the California Legislature (Fifty-Sixth Session) "Proposed Klamath and Trinity River Diversions and Other Projects in the Central Valley"

56th Session Report to the California Legislature

Environmentalists oppose pipeline expansion in Pacific NW

SALEM - The U.S. government has taken a step toward approving the expansion of a natural gas pipeline in the Pacific Northwest - a move opposed by environmentalists and the attorneys general of Oregon, California and Washington state.

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Klamath Basin Water Crisis Summary

Joint Prosecution Agreement for the Klamath Adjudication

Klamath Project Water Users (KPWU) have a good cause to present non-record evidence with the opportunity to fully litigate KPWU’s exceptions to claims established in the Klamath Adjudication. The Joint Prosecution Agreement Adjudication Steering Committee met in the fall of 2022 to ascertain if this was the appropriate time for KPWU to budget and retain experts for litigation of the claims. 

To thoroughly prepare the best case on its merits, the committee recommended an assessment of no less than $4 per acre to cover the expenses for the remainder of 2022 and 2023.

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44 F3d 758 United States v. State of Oregon H | Decided 28 December 1994 in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

"In 1975, the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) invoked Oregon's statutory procedure for the mass adjudication of water rights in order to determine all claims to surface water in the Klamath River Basin. The United States claims water rights in this basin on behalf of several federal agencies and as trustee for the Klamath Tribe. The State notified over 25,000 potential claimants, including appellants United States, the Klamath Tribe and members of the Klamath Allottees Water Users Association (Association), a group of individuals who own former reservation land in fee. That same year, the United States filed a suit in federal district court seeking a declaration of the water rights of the United States and the Klamath Tribe in certain tributaries within the Klamath Basin. In 1983, this court heard an appeal from the district court's decision in that case...After hearing cross-motions for summary judgment, the district court held that in enacting the McCarran Amendment, Congress had waived sovereign immunity on behalf of the United States and Klamath Tribe and consented to their participation in the Klamath Basin adjudication."

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Oregon Water Resources Department Amicus Brief to Baley vs. United States 2018

If any federal reserved rights existed, the failure to file any claims in the adjudication

extinguished them. The law of prior appropriation has no application to the Hoopa or Yurok tribes, and the statement that those tribes have federal reserved rights in the Upper Klamath Basin is simply wrong. The Klamath adjudication is a comprehensive general stream adjudication in which the federal government, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs, was obliged to assert its claims, including its claims it holds as trustee for tribes, or see those claims lost.

Read OWRD's full brief...

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Richard Whitman, while serving as Oregon's Natural Policy Director appointed by Governor Kitzhaber, drafted an agreement with the Yurok Tribe in California to undermine the legal findings and results of the Klamath Adjudication.

"Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) does not recognize flows that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ("BOR") is required to release downstream in the Klamath River under applicable federal law as an authorized use of water, and that OWRD will require the BOR to cease releasing these flows under certain circumstances.

OWRD is not interfering with BOR's obligations...and does not intend do so, unless otherwise directed to do so by order of a court with proper jurisdiction."

Read the full Yurok edited agreement...

Read the related email chain between Richard Whitman, Tom Paul, Oregon Department of Justice, and the Yurok...

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Dr. Thomas Hardy was paid over $1.6 million between 1996 and 2000 for products to support Yurok and Hoopa tribal water right claims in the Klamath Adjudication...no documents were ever submitted.

The Hardy flow studies were criticized by the National Academy of Sciences as riddled with errors and false assumptions, but are still utilized by federal agencies despite the known bias and results orieted outcome.

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"Dr. Thomas Hardy (Utah State University): There is some confusion why the Department of Justice (DOJ) is involved. I was already under contract with DOJ, they used an existing contract. But I work for Mr. Anderson and the Bureau of Indian Affairs."

Read the various Hardy contracts
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The Klamath River mainstem is not typical coho habitat as defined in over 100 different studies across the Pacific.

Coho utilize the mainstem Klamath low fall flows to move to the tributaries to spawn. Upon emerging from their eggs, coho typically stay in slow moving pools near cool water, preferably ground water. Coho only flee to the mainstem to find temporary refuge from thermal conditions in the summer.

Threatened SONCC Coho do not rear in the Klamath River mainstem

“In the Klamath basin, the roles of different habitats to the performance of coho salmon have been a subject of much debate and controversy. Of particular concern is the use and importance of the mainstem Klamath River relative to the tributaries…within larger river systems, coho salmon spawning is typically distributed in tributaries to [the] mainstem rivers. This pattern for spawning principally in small streams has given coho salmon a reputation of being primarily associated with small rivers and streams.”

Lestelle, Lawrence C. March 2007. Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) Life History Patterns in the Pacific Northwest and California. P. xi.  

Read Lestelle's Full Report

Petition for a writ of mandamus to correct the error the district court

Petition for a writ of mandamus to correct the alleged error the district court made in denying Klamath Irrigation District's motion to remand to Klamath County Circuit Court, in a matter concerning water rights.

Strong run of spring chinook in the Trinity River

This year, the spring chinook run on the Trinity River appears higher than it has been in years! Returning chinook at the Junction City weir was the highest since 1978, and spring chinook redd counts in the mainstem Trinity River were the highest observed in a decade.

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Restoring rivers for a new generation of fishermen

Jeff Schlecht has spent his lifetime fishing.

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