Tulelake Irrigation District had public meeting on groundwater management plan

with corrections in red

8/29/11 at Tulelake firehall 9 a.m.
Notes by a KBC News editor Jacqui Krizo

Today was the first TID groundwater management plan meeting where the TID board presented to the public its intension to create a groundwater management plan for the entire district. Notice was in the legal pages of the Herald and News.

Attending were board members John Crawford president, Gary Wright and Jim Havlina. TID bookkeeper Grace Phillips, manager Earl Donosky, and assistant managers Jerry Pyle and Brad Kirby also attended. Others were Modoc supervisor Geri Byrne, Modoc County employee Sean Curtis, and Modoc Environmental Health Dept. Warren Farnum, rancher and farmer Joe Hemphill, and farmer Jacqui Krizo.

Siskiyou County Supervisor Jim Cook recently met with TID board several times and told TID that if they do not create a groundwater management plan, then Siskiyou County or the state of California will make a plan for them. Cook encouraged TID to create this plan.

The board said this management plan was not because of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement / KBRA. Krizo said that the KBRA, which the board voted to support, mandates we have a groundwater management plan; it is part of the KBRA On Project Plan. She brought up that the (accidently omitted 'KWAPA') board has already hired MBK engineering and Dan Keppen for their groundwater plan, and the KBRA states that the wells can have no adverse impact. An argument followed with Crawford and Wright both yelling at Krizo.

Keppen was employed by the Bureau of Reclamation before coming to Klamath Falls in 2001 (not 2002) to work as executive director of Klamath Water Users Association. He presently is director of Family Farm Alliance, and engineer and media chairman for KWAPA, Klamath Water and Power Agency, a group included in the KBRA.

Farnum felt that Siskiyou was using the "fear factor" threatening that the county would make a plan for us. He advised that DWR/Dept. of Water Resources would dump Water Quality onto the entities (TID) creating the management plan. He said, "It will be a cold day in hell before they meter my well."

Joe Hemphill expressed concern about all the mandates that could go with a management plan, and board member Wright, who is also president of KWUA / Klamath Water Users Association, began yelling at him and pointing his finger.

Farnum said that some entities could later sue by looking at the water data and management plan and accusing TID of overdrafting.

Farnum advised that TID look at the caveats in the plan, what they want, and what are the mandates, and suggested there would be pumping fees. Kirby said there would not be fees.

Curtis said TID would have to pay for our monitoring chessboard, plus water quality mandates. He said with this plan, according to water code, TID can regulate ag wells.

Hemphill said if the state is broke and California is not responsible, if we go down this road we'd have to pay fees.

Wright again yelled at Hemphill for his input, and at times he and Crawford shouted at Farnum.

Farnum said if TID becomes the groundwater management entity, they'd be at the will of what DWR wants them to do. They would hold water grants and loans over our head.

Kirby said TID is just doing this to manage the resource.

TID is mandated to have another public meeting to share their management plan. Then each TID water users may vote on whether or not to support their plan. They need 50% vote to pass it.

TID would not allow the water users to vote on the KBRA because they didn't have to. When Tulelake voted in last fall's election, 77% opposed the KBRA Klamath Hydroelectric dam removal "agreement," yet TID continues to support it and pay for it.



KBC Corrections in response to criticisms of my 8/29 notes from TID and Dan Keppen, and also some notes from 9/20 public meeting
by Jacqui Krizo, KBC editor

On September 13 was the monthly TID public meeting. First, manager Earl Danosky said he was disappointed in my article and he didn't recall the 2 board members yelling at 3 of us at the groundwater management plan 9/29 public meeting.

Members Crawford and Wright said they didn't yell but may have raised their voices, and Wright said I'd know it if he yelled.

I forgot to mention in the Aug. 29 write up that, toward the end of the 8/29 meeting, Wright and Crawford apologized to the Modoc officials and the public for blowing up at them.

Syd Staunton was present Sept.13, however was not at the Aug. 29 meeting. He said the article was "weak" and "bad reporting," and he questioned where the vote came from that said Tulelake opposed the KBRA 77%. I explained that last fall there was an election and in that election 77% of Tulelake alone opposed the dam removal. 

They said the KBRA was not dam removal; John Crawford said, "I don't support dam removal." I assured them that I know that dam removal is a mandatory part of the KBRA. They said it was not. I said if they show me a copy of the KBRA I'll show them where it says that. They didn't produce a copy: 

KBRA document Part II 8.1. Support for Hydroelectric Settlement
The Parties shall support the Hydroelectric Settlement. The Parties acknowledge that the Hydroelectric Settlement is based on facts and circumstances unique to the Klamath Basin..."

Then Staunton said my article made it sound like TID voted to support the KBRA while their constituents opposed it, and he said his constituents who farm supported it.

Then Wright said to me, "you lie," "you are an obstructionist" and "It is a waste of time talking to you; you are like talking to a brick wall."

My apologies to Sid Staunton; I did not mean to infer that he did not ask some of his farming constituents their opinion. My comment was based on my written request in 2010 that TID hold a vote of all it's constituents whether to support the KBRA, and that request was denied. No one asked me, my family or my friends if they supported it, however, Staunton represents a different area of TID than I live in.


In the September 13 meeting they did not discuss or mention the concerns brought to the public meeting by 2 farmers and the 2 county officials who attended. The concerns were not mentioned in minutes of that special Aug. 29 meeting. The board voted to make a resolution supporting a groundwater management plan. Kirby said they would advertise the next groundwater management plan meeting like the last, a notice in the legal pages of the Herald and News. They said Siskiyou Supervisor Cook told them them must make a groundwater management plan or the county or state would make it for them.

The board discussed upcoming meetings on a federal power rate, but said irrigators must support the KBRA to receive it. Crawford said it could be 3-5 cent power. Audio and quotes of the power rate meeting are at the bottom of this page.

In public session they approved Stipulation for Judgement Case No SC CV DV 10-0463, but would not tell me what is was about besides the validation, and said I could go find it in the court records.

Also at the meeting they brought up that USFWS owes TID $227,000.



This is an email sent to Barb Hall, Klamath Bucket Brigade, by Dan Keppen, Family Farm Alliance Executive Director, and past director of Klamath Water Users Association. She extensively distributed the KBC article and Keppen's response to KBB email list. It was in regards to my above 8/29/11 notes of the groundwater meeting; Keppen did not send his criticism directly to KBC.

"Barb – this is not entirely accurate.

* First, I am not the “engineer” and “media chairman” for KWAPA.

* Second, the TID board has not hired me to a groundwater management plan. I am part of a consulting team that is preparing a plan of action for efficient and effective use of groundwater resources of the Klamath Project, but so far, my role has been very limited. MBK Engineers, Houston Engineering, and CH2M Hill are doing more of the heavy lifting on that. KWAPA is the client, not TID. The KWAPA document is a very different type of plan than what is being considered by TID, which I believe is preparing an AB3030 groundwater management plan, according to California law. Interestingly, I actually prepared a similar plan for Tehama County, California about 15 years ago, working in coordination with county supervisors and local irrigation districts.

* Third, I came to KWUA in 2001, not 2002.

* Finally, I worked for the Bureau of Reclamation for one year under an inter-organizational arrangement between Reclamation and the Northern California Water Association (NCWA). Prior to that, I worked for NCWA for 3 years and as a water resources engineer in Oregon and California for 8 years. I just note that because I have been approached by some people who hold the belief that I was some kind of Reclamation career guy before I came to Klamath. That’s not the case.


Hope you’re having a great Labor Day weekend.



 My, Jacqui's, response to Dan Keppens criticism of my notes:

1. Looking back at my notes from the KWAPA On Project Plan advisory board meeting, perhaps Dan was titled "Outreach Director" and not "media chairman." I didn't realize there was a difference. He gave a report on how he was going to reach the communities via many media sources supporting the On Project Plan, OPP.

2: the following is the link to Keppen working with MBK engineers, and even before the TID public groundwater meeting, it was said at the regular TID meeting that MBK was hired by KWAPA to do the Klamath Project groundwater plan, and TID is part of the Klamath project. The OPP mandates a groundwater plan for California's TID, through KWAPA. http://www.klamathbasincrisis.org/dankeppen/kwapa

My apologies for accidently omitting the word KWAPA (in red) in my original 8/29 notes.

3. I mistook the date Keppen began working for KWUA. I'm sorry.

4. By saying, "Keppen was employed by the Bureau of Reclamation before coming to Klamath Falls...", I was in no way inferring he was a career employee. I actually didn't know his entire resume, but I didn't feel a bio was necessary or appropriate in my TID meeting notes.

AUDIO 9/28/11 - Klamath Basin "Power for Water Agreement" Holly Cannon, KWAPA / Klamath Water and Power Agency (power part of the KBRA / Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement), Executive Director, held meeting in Tulelake to urge irrigators to sign onto the "low-cost power for water" agreement..."...that's what the KBRA is about, is bringing "low-cost power..."
Cannon: "What you're giving up is water to get affordable power."
Q "What is the acre feet that we're giving away for this cheaper power rate?"
A Cannon: "I'd say 20-25%, but it varies year to year.....What you're giving up is water to get affordable power...KWAPA is doing an On-Project plan that is designing how you're going to give up water..."
Q "What happens if we find out with the program it looks good, then all of a sudden it could be higher than the tariff rate? You can't guarantee what that rate's going to be."
Cannon, "We can't guarantee it."
Q "It might not be that golden egg ...and the landlord says, 'no I don't want this,' and then he's stuck with it... and then it could be a liability problem too."
Cannon, "it could be,"
Q "and then he comes back on whoever signs the contract."

Cannon, "yeah."
There is more discussion and clarification by Cannon, Tulelake Irrigation District manager Earl Donosky, and Klamath Water Users Association President Gary Wright regarding the benefits of the KBRA, and also discussion about prerogatives of PacifiCorp.