Klamath Water Users Association 

Weekly Update

April 23, 2004


Klamath Project Districts Prepare Package of Conservation Projects

Klamath Project irrigation districts, local improvement districts and private ditch companies have developed an ambitious list of projects intended to supplement the on-farm conservation efforts currently being implemented by individual Project landowners. The Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) recently prepared a report that compiles 45 conservation projects proposed by the local agencies that serve water to Klamath Project irrigators. The report, entitled "Proposed Water Conservation Supply Enhancement, Water Quality Improvement, Measurement and Monitoring Projects" summarizes proposals prepared by 11 local water delivery agencies, totaling over $54 million (summary table on p. 3).

"This document represents the continued commitment of Klamath Project irrigators to proactively address future conservation challenges," said KWUA Executive Director Dan Keppen. "The farmers and ranchers that form the backbone of Klamath Project districts are among the most proactive conservationists in the country."

Last year, KWUA was awarded the 2003 Agriculture Progress Award for "Leadership in Conservation" by the State of Oregon. Tulelake Irrigation District was also recently presented with the prestigious F. Gordon Johnston Award in recognition for their innovative canal-lining project, which eliminates water losses near Newell, California.

The KWUA report was prepared to summarize proposed projects that satisfy the intent of congressional language included in the Fiscal Year 2004 appropriations bill for water and related resources. This report will also be used as a basis to pursue additional funding opportunities that may arise in the future.

The conference report for the FY 2004 Energy and Water appropriations bill authorizes the Secretary of the Army to establish a program to provide environmental assistance to non-federal interests in the Upper Klamath Basin, including the counties of Klamath (Oregon) and Modoc and Siskiyou (California). Authorizing provisions that replicate language included by Rep. John Doolittle (CA) in the House version of the Water Resources

Development Act (WRDA) were also included in the conference report. Doolittle forwarded this effort for the benefit of Upper Basin water users; these programs are intended to allow irrigation districts and other local public entities an opportunity to obtain cost-share funding from a conservation program that will not compete with individual irrigators applying for U.S. Department of Agriculture Klamath Basin conservation funding provided by the 2002 Farm Bill.

"Helping resolve the water management crisis in the Klamath Basin is one of my top priorities," Doolittle said last fall. "It is an honor to represent a community that, despite misguided government priorities, continues to lead the world in water use efficiency and conservation implementation.  It is my hope these funds will continue that trend and will be a tremendous benefit to local farmers."

Congress authorized $25,000,000 to carry out this program. Assistance under this section may be in the form of design and construction

assistance to improve the efficiency and use of existing water supplies in the Upper Klamath Basin through water and wastewater and ecosystem restoration projects, programs, and infrastructure. The federal share of the project costs under each partnership agreement entered into under this program is 75 percent, in the form of grants or reimbursements of project costs. KWUA is looking elsewhere to assist local districts, where necessary, with the remaining 25 percent cost share.

If you have any questions the latest KWUA document, please do not hesitate to contact KWUA at (541)-883-6100 or at kwua@cvcwireless.net.

KID Part of "Overwhelming Response" to Water 2025 Challenge Grants

Klamath Irrigation District (KID) recently learned that they are not the only organization interested in modernizing its irrigation delivery system. U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton this week announced that the West-wide response to the 2004 Water 2025 Secretarial Challenge Grant program has been "overwhelming".

For this year's $4 million program, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) received more than 100 proposals representing over $98 million in water delivery system improvements across the West. Of that, the federal share request is more than $25 million, with the rest made up by matching funds from non-federal sources such as irrigation and water districts.

"This response underscores the significance of Water 2025 to Western water users and proves the success of the Challenge Grant concept," Norton said. "It demonstrates a widespread eagerness to work collaboratively to improve the way water is managed across the West and address local needs."

KID staff prepared a very extensive application that proposes sharing costs with Reclamation to install a polyurethane lining in the C Canal flume, a familiar landmark to residents traveling on Highway 39 south of Klamath Falls. The 4,200 foot long elevated concrete structure is 85 years old and delivers water to up to 30,000 acres of farmland. The new lining is expected to prevent leaks that may save up to 2,000 acre-feet of water per year.

"What we’re hoping to do is prevent leaks and extend the life of the structure, which we believe meets the purpose of the Challenge Grant program," said KID general manager Dave Solem.

Summary of Proposed Conservation Projects

Prepared by Klamath Project Water Users

Enterprise Irrigation District

  • Klamath Community College Piping Project
  • EID #1 Pump Station #2
  • Gauging System

Klamath Drainage District

  • Rangeland Drain Improvement Project
  • Straits Drain Water Quality Enhancement
  • Eastside Water Recirculation
  • O’Connor Pump Discharge Modification
  • Road and Canal Improvement Project
  • Refuge Flow Measurement Weir
  • North Canal Flow Measurement Weir
  • North Canal Efficiency Enhancement
  • Water Control Structure Restoration Project
  • Remote Monitoring and Control – ADY and North Canals

Klamath Irrigation District

  • Canal Measurement and Operation Modernization
  • Canal Flume Conservation Improvement / Rehab
  • Miller Hill Pumping Plant Efficiency Upgrade
  • South Suburban Canal Conservation & Safety
  • Adams Pumping Plant Efficiency Upgrade
  • Olene Flume Water Conservation Upgrade
  • A Canal Tunnel Resurfacing & Flow Improvement
  • E Canal Water Conservation Piping
  • N. Poe Valley Pump Relocate / Efficiency Upgrade
  • A-3 Canal Water Conservation Lining
  • Lateral Canal Measurement Upgrade
  • GIS System
  • A Canal Lining
  • Nuss Lake Storage


Summary of Proposed Conservation Projects

Prepared by Klamath Project Water Users

Klamath Hills District Improvement Company

  • Pump Flow Measurement Upgrade

Langell Valley Irrigation District

  • High Line Pipe Project & Reregulation Reservoirs

Pine Grove Irrigation District

  • Reeder Road Piping Project
  • Campbell Ranch Piping Project
  • Gauging System

Shasta View Irrigation District

  • Replacement of Pressurized Distribution System

Tulelake Irrigation District

  • Canal Lining and Piping

Van Brimmer Ditch Company

  • Canal Lining

Westside Improvement District

  • Drainage Treatment
  • Canal Lining
  • Pump #26 Update
  • Diversion Headgates

Malin Irrigation District

  • Canal Lining and Installation of Piping Systems to Reduce Seepage along 20,000 lf of Open Channel
  • New Flow Meters


Klamath Noted in Earth Day List: Top 5 "Human Costs" of Enviro Extremism

Pointing to the 2001 Klamath water crisis as a supporting argument, Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) yesterday released its Earth Day List of Top 5 "Human Costs" of Environmental Extremism. According to PLF, the top five human costs of environmental extremism are:

  • Separating people from nature.
  • Cutting people off from water to give to fish.
  • Extinguishing hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • Diminishing the American dream of home ownership, and
  • Blocking forest fire prevention that saves lives and homes.

As an example of how water has been reallocated away from people and given to fish, PLF points to the 2001 Klamath Project water curtailment, where stored water originally intended for agriculture was reallocated to meet the purported needs of sucker fish and salmon protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

"People and fish have one very vital thing in common-they both need water to survive," PLF stated in its press release. "But increasingly, environmental activists are putting the speculative needs of fish over the actual needs of people."

 "Organizations with an extreme view of environmental protection have violated the trust of the American people who care about our environment, but are not willing to stand by while human values are disregarded," added M. David Stirling, Vice President of PLF. "This Earth Day, PLF is exposing how inflexible environmental laws and overregulation put species first and people last."

USDA to Release $7.3 Million in Klamath Basin Conservation Funding

U.S. Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) yesterday announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would release $7.3 million in conservation funding to assist farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin. The funding represents a portion of the $50 million fund for the Klamath Basin made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) authorized in the 2002 Farm Bill. Yesterday’s release of funding follows an earlier release of $11.7 million out of the EQIP program that was delivered in January 2004.

"Given the degree to which federal policies have been responsible for much of the Klamath Basin water crisis, it’s fitting that the federal government should assist in implementing local conservation projects that will help resolve the crisis in the long-term," said Walden. "By channeling funds directly to the producers on the ground who know best how to improve water quality and water quantity, the EQIP program is playing a critical role in sustaining agriculture in the Basin and supporting the important goal of species protection."


Eligible producers will receive financial and technical assistance from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to improve the efficiency of irrigation systems and implement additional projects designed to improve ground and surface water conservation.  

"USDA is working to assist farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin," USDA Secretary Ann Veneman said. "The additional funds will help more producers accelerate implementation of practical, common sense conservation practices on the ground."


Tuesday, May 4 and Wednesday, May 5, 2004 – Upper Klamath Basin Water Quality Coordination Workshop. 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Mt. Mazama Room, Student Union Building, Oregon Institute of Technology. Klamath Falls, OR.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 – KWUA Executive Committee Meeting. 6:00 p.m. KWUA Office, 2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3, Klamath Falls, Oregon.



Tuesday, May 18, 2004 – KWUA Power Committee Meeting. 7:00 p.m. KWUA Office, 2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3, Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Friday, May 20, 2004 – Trinity River Tour. 7:45 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Hosted by the Association of California Water Agencies, the tour will start and finish in Redding, California. Contact John Chandler at (916)-441-4545 for further information.


Klamath Water Users Association
2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603
(541)-883-6100 FAX (541)-883-8893  kwua@cvcwireless.net

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Content and Logo: Copyright © Klamath Water Users Association, 2002 All Rights Reserved
Page design: Copyright ©  klamathbasincrisis.org,   2002,  All Rights Reserved

Klamath Water Users Association
2455 Patterson Street, Suite 3
Klamath Falls, Oregon 97603
(541)-883-6100 FAX (541)-883-8893  kwua@cvcwireless.net

KBC Home



Content and Logo: Copyright © Klamath Water Users Association, 2002 All Rights Reserved
Page design: Copyright ©  klamathbasincrisis.org,   2002,  All Rights Reserved