Welcome to Talent Irrigation District
TALENT IRRIGATION DISTRICT
JUNE 14, 2021
With the recent rains and the severe drought situation facing the Rogue Basin, Talent Irrigation District will be shutting the entire irrigation system down on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 for a period of at least two weeks. If we should receive additional precipitation, the shutdown period could be extended. This is being done to extend the extremely limited water supply.
On March 31, 2021 Jackson County Declared an Emergency for Drought Conditions, click on the following link to learn how the Declaration process works and for available programs and assistance https://www.oregon.gov/owrd/programs/climate/droughtwatch/Pages/default.aspx
WATER START UP (POSTED MAY 26, 2021)
The District will be putting a small amount of water in the canals this week to prepare them for next week’s startup process. The canals need to be brought up to operating depths slowly so as not to cause canal failure. The canal prisms are extremely dry and experiencing cracking which will hamper how the canals operate under full load conditions until they are saturated and the cracks close up. Flows will be minor compared to how the District usually primes the system. The goal is to not waste water during this important startup operation.
WATER SUPPLY UPDATE POSTED MAY 13, 2021
The current extended unseasonably warm weather and already dry soil profile that our meager snowpack rested on, has resulted in below average runoff and streamflow amounts entering the reservoir system. As you can see by the graph below, the “2021 WATER SUPPLY” reservoir storage is starting to level off instead of rising. This trend is going to impact the projected storage amounts for the upcoming, already shortened irrigation season.
Without some measurable rain storms to give us some relief, we could see an even shorter irrigation than we originally anticipated in our earlier water supply updates.
START DATE FOR THE 2021 IRRIGATION SEASON (Posted May 7, 2021)
The District needs 50,000 plus acre feet of water to make it through a regular irrigation season once we start to draw the reservoirs down. Our current supply stands at 22,600 acre feet. The inflow to the reservoirs is starting to drop off due to the limited snowpack this year. This water supply situation is unprecedented in our project’s history and we are trying to make the best of the situation that mother nature has given us. This year’s circumstances were brought on by several years of below average snowpack, precipitation and hot dry summer months.
At the regular board meeting of the Board of Directors held on April 6th, following lengthy discussions, it was the consensus of the Board that water deliveries will begin on June 1, 2021. This date could be extended to June 15th, if we are lucky enough to receive enough precipitation to allow an extension. It is estimated that once water deliveries begin, in June the water supply will be depleted sometime in August.
We are asking everyone for their patience and cooperation as we move forward through this unprecedented situation.
REMINDER TO THOSE WITH WATER STORAGE FACILITIES (Posted 5/7/2021)
If you have a bulge in the TID system, i.e., pond, tank, bladders, etc., issued through TID, you need to pay attention to the rules and exceptions for these facilities. This includes, but is not limited to the following:
The facility must be filled during your regular rotation. No special deliveries will be made.
The storage facility size is limited to only storing enough water to get to your next scheduled rotation.
Hoarding water will not be allowed. Any verified complaints will be forwarded to the State Watermaster for enforcement.
When the irrigation season ends and TID is no longer in service, you have 14 days to release any water you have stored in the facility. State law does not allow you to store water over the winter.
DROUGHT INFORMATION POSTED MARCH 17, 2021
SOUTHERN OREGON IS IN A SEVERE DROUGHT FOR IRRIGATION WATER. MOTHER NATURE IS ALWAYS FIRMLY IN CONTROL OF THIS PART OF THE WATER SUPPLY. THE IRRIGATION DISTRICT DOES NOT MAKE THE WATER, WE JUST TRANSPORT THE WATER.
MULTIPLE BELOW AVERAGE SNOWPACK WATER YEARS, COUPLED WITH SUSTAINED LONG HOT SUMMERS, HAS CREATED A STEADY DRAWDOWN ON OUR CARRYOVER SUPPLY THAT WE HAD BUILT UP IN THE RESERVOIRS OVER THE YEARS.
UNTIL LAST YEAR, 1992 HAD BEEN THE LOWEST STORAGE WATER YEAR SINCE THE PROJECT WENT INTO OPERATION IN 1961. IN 2020, WE RAN VERY CLOSE TO 1992 STORAGE AMOUNTS BUT 1993 ALLOWED SOME RELIEF TO THE PROJECT BY PRODUCING APPROXIMATELY 175% OF NORMAL SNOWPACK AND HEAVY RUNOFF, ADDING SOME 75,000 ACRE FEET OF WATER TO THE SYSTEM. UNFORTUNATELY, THE SAME THING DID NOT HAPPEN BETWEEN THE 2020 AND 2021 YEARS
THE TALENT PROJECT RESERVOIRS HAVE AN AVERAGE ANNUAL DRAWDOWN OF AROUND 50,000 ACRE FEET TO GET US INTO SEPTEMBER. IF THIS YEAR DOES NOT GIVE US SOME RELIEF, WE COULD BE LOOKING AT ONLY HAVING AROUND 30,000-35,000 ACRE FEET.
THIS YEAR, LIKE LAST YEAR, THE FIRST SNOW FELL ON A DRY SOIL PROFILE WHICH CAUSED THE SNOWMELT TO SOAK INTO THE GROUND RATHER THAN RUNNING OFF INTO THE RESERVOIRS AND CREEKS. DEPENDING ON HOW THE SNOW COMES OFF THIS SPRING, WE SUSPECT THAT THIS YEAR WILL BEHAVE THE SAME WAY.
EVERY YEAR AT THE END OF EACH IRRIGATION SEASON WATER MANAGERS DO NOT KNOW WHAT TYPE OF WINTER WE WILL HAVE. THE LAST FEW STORAGE SEASONS WE HAVE NOT HAD THAT BANNER YEAR TO ALLOW THE SYSTEM TO RECOVER TO FULLY SATISFY THE UPCOMING IRRIGATION SEASON.
WHILE IT MAKES FOR VERY LOW POOLS IN THE RESERVOIRS AND RECREATION SUFFERS, IT IS THE DISTRICTS’ RESPONSIBILITY TO GIVE ITS’ GROWERS THE BEST CHANCE POSSIBLE OF HAVING A SUCCESSFUL GROWING SEASON. THE IRRIGATION PROJECT RESERVOIRS WERE BUILT FOR IRRIGATION AND THAT IS THE FIRST AND HIGHEST PRIORITY ON THE SYSTEM, WITH ALL OTHER USES BEING A DISTANT SECOND.
EVERY STORM GIVES US HOPE AND ONCE WE HAVE A BETTER IDEA OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF STORED WATER THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE TO THE DISTRICT, THE DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS WILL DETERMINE WHAT TYPES OF DELIVERY CHANGES MAY NEED TO BE MADE TO GIVE ALL DISTRICT PATRONS THEIR FAIR SHARE OF AVAILABLE IRRIGATION WATER.
WE HAVE NOT GIVEN UP HOPE THAT WE COULD YET EXPERIENCE SOME LARGE STORMS AND/OR A LATE WET SPRING TO HELP EXTEND THE SEASON, BUT WE WANT EVERYONE TO BE AWARE THAT THIS COULD BE A VERY SHORT DELIVERY SEASON.
THE DISTRICT ENCOURAGES ALL AG PRODUCERS TO PLAN THEIR CROP AND PASTURE MANAGEMENT ACCORDINGLY. THIS COULD MEAN REDUCING FERTILIZER APPLICATIONS OR SIMILAR ADJUSTMENTS BECAUSE OF REDUCED AVAILABLE WATER.
Water Supply Update posted February 9, 2021
As if we haven’t been through enough this last year with COVID-19, wildfire operations and recovery, not to mention back-to-back short water years, this water year is not shaping up to be any better.
The last several years have not been kind to us from a water supply outlook. Lighter than average snow packs coupled with long dry summers, have drawn the reservoir system down farther and farther every year. This gives us less water to work with every summer causing us to delay startup of the irrigation season and in turn, shutting the season down earlier than normal. Without the winter recharge to the system, it causes us to use more of our annual reservoir carryover amounts that would typically sustain us for the following year.
This year, at least at this point, doesn’t look to give us any relief with the reservoirs that the District relies on for irrigation. Howard Prairie, Hyatt and Emigrant reservoirs are at all time historic low elevations. While we still have time for mother nature to turn around and give us some above average snow and precipitation to get us into a good supply position, water users should be aware of the potential for a very short water year.
Once we are into March and April, we should be able to have at least a better idea of what our water supply for the year will be. At that time, the District Board of Directors can make any decisions that we may need to get through the water year.
OFFICE HOURS AND PAYMENTS
CURRENTLY THE DISTRICT OFFICE IS OPEN FROM 7:00 A.M. TO 4:30 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. HOWEVER, DUE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS, WE ARE RESTRICTING ACCESS TO OUR OFFICE LOBBY. PLEASE KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND WE WILL COME OUTSIDE TO ASSIST YOU. WE ASK THAT YOU REMAIN OUTSIDE WHILE WE GATHER ANY INFORMATION YOU ARE REQUESTING. IF IT IS NECESSARY FOR YOU TO ENTER THE OFFICE, YOU MUST WEAR A FACE MASK.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AND NEED TO CONTACT THE DISTRICT WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CALL US AT 541-535-1529.
YOU CAN NOW PAY YOUR IRRIGATION CHARGES USING THE FOLLOWING OPTIONS
Online – see the ONLINE BILL PAY link on the left of this page.
Over the telephone by calling the office at 541-535-1529 M-F from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Online with your bank (using bill pay)
By mail – Please mail your payment to PO Box 467, Talent, OR 97540-0467
In person – Our office is located at 104 W. Valley View Road, Talent, OR 97540 (COVID restrictions are in place)
MONTHLY BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEETINGS
The Talent Irrigation District Board of Directors regularly meet at the District office on the first Tuesday of each month at 9:00 a.m. The meetings are open to the public. If you have something to present to the Board, please contact the office at least one week in advance in order to be placed on the agenda.
EMERGENCY ANSWERING SERVICE
For all emergency’s during non-business hours, anytime during the year, the phone number to call is 541-770-0315. The emergency answering service will contact the District’s emergency response person.
RECLAMATION REFORM ACT FORMS (RRA)
If you own, operate, and/or lease 40 acres or more of irrigated land within a Bureau of Reclamation irrigation district you are required to notify the Talent Irrigation District office and fill out the required forms on the Bureau of Reclamation RRA Website before April 1st each year to avoid any fines. In addition, if your landholdings change at anytime during the irrigation season you must immediately notify the District and file new forms.