Welcome to Talent Irrigation District
WATER SUPPLY UPDATE – JUNE 1, 2020
While we did get good rain in the month of May, we remain in an extreme drought condition for southern Jackson County. The rains definitely helped by allowing demand to drop off and we were able to cut canals back and slow the draw-down on the reservoirs. Once the rain and cool weather back off and warm temperatures resume, demand will pick up and we will need to bring more water back from the reservoirs.
Keep in mind these canals don’t work like a municipal tap, it takes time to bring them back up to operating levels. In most cases, to get the water from the reservoir to the tail end of the canals will take 24-36 hours. On years with ample water, we can bring water down a bit early and run the system a bit looser to help the transition. In drought years we want to maximize the water use and try not to let too much get away from us.
We are still hopeful of getting into September with our available supply, but that will depend largely on the weather as we move forward through this very challenging summer. With luck, timely showers and cool weather will persist for a while.
Combined Storage Reservoir Graph Information (Posted June 1, 2020)
WATER SUPPLY UPDATE (POSTED MAY 15, 2020)
The good news is that the canals and pressure lines are charged and the District has been delivering water, with the exception of two of our pressure lines that are experiencing pressure valve problems. Those with the valve problems are being addressed and repaired as quickly as possible.
The first week of May did not do us any favors with the temperature rising quickly into the 90’s and afternoon winds drying things out very quickly. This increased the irrigation demand to near peak levels. The District brought the canals up to operating depths in as little time as we safely could without damaging or failing our canals.
The second week has offered us some light showers and a bit of a cooling trend which has helped us catch up to demand. This has allowed us to set rotations and get people spread out to irrigate as far into the season as we can.
The extreme demand that we experienced the first week of May has caused us to put more demand on the reservoir system, causing the reservoir draw-down process to start sooner than we wanted. Hopefully, the cooler weather will last and we can get canal flows into a more normal flow regime. With everyone’s cooperation and understanding, we will be able to make this a successful irrigation season.
IRRIGATION SEASON START UP (POSTED MAY 1, 2020)
Water and weather conditions remain largely the same for TID water users. The reservoir system has had some gains since our last report, but nothing significant, and inflows from snowmelt are dropping off quickly.
District staff are in the process of cycling the main delivery canals up to their normal service flows. This is a slow process because we need to bring the canals up incrementally into operating range to avoid damage.
Beginning the week of May 4th, we will be charging our pressure lines to get them ready to deliver water. Unless the Ditch Rider directs something different, we ask that you leave all of your private valves off until we get the systems up and ready for service.
Ditch Riders may be able to start some rotations the week of May 4th, so those rotations are started at the beginning of the rotation, and not in the middle. These will be case-by-case, depending on where you are in the system and where that particular canal is in terms of operating depth.
Depending on weather throughout the summer, water users should be prepared for a shortened season this year. District staff will keep the website updated with reservoir and canal operations so please check it often. Feel free to contact the District office for any questions you may have. Please remember that we all need to work together to make this a successful season with the drought conditions we are facing.
WATER SUPPLY / START OF IRRIGATION SEASON (POSTED 4/14/2020)
Conditions remain abnormally dry for this time of year. The United States Drought Monitor released April 7th has Jackson County in a severe drought condition. The Natural Resource Conservation Service Water Supply Report shows precipitation and snow pack in several sites that the District’s water supply relies on being well below normal. With the snow pack being below normal, this means that the natural stream flows that the District typically relies on to start the season will be almost nonexistent. So, when the canals are started, we will be operating off of stored water from the start, which will be a contributing factor to the already shortened irrigation season.
TID reservoirs are running at roughly 55% of average for this time of year and 44% of full storage capacity, on the combined reservoir system which includes Emigrant, Hyatt and Howard Prairie. There is still a chance for a late/wetter spring that would help, but so far, any significant storms have missed us.
District staff will start water in the canals, around May 1st. There will be a time lag to bring the canals up slowly to operating levels and priming pressure lines. This priming process can take 7 to 10 days to accomplish, so please be patient. We will get water moving and available as quickly and efficiently as possible without causing any damage to the canal system.
Even with the delayed start-up being the first part of May, TID patrons should prepare for an early shut-off this year. When that could be remains to be seen, as it will depend on weather conditions, user demand, reservoir draw-down and District operations.
To help extend the season, TID ditch riders and field staff will be especially focused on water being wasted either by run-off, over-watering, lack of attention, or letting sprinkler lines stay immobile for extended periods of time. Ditch riders will be maintaining established irrigation rotations within allotment amounts, unless the Board authorizes more stringent requirements.
Operational spills will be reduced to near zero. (Operational spills are the minimum releases at the ends of all canals to help stabilize the tail end of the canals and help sustain a more constant water level for end users.)
The District Board will assess the water supply and demand status monthly to determine if more stringent standards are needed. Office staff will supply monthly updates on reservoir levels and water demands on the District website.
Water users should prepare their systems to be as efficient as possible. Keep head ditches clean and free of debris, make sure sprinkler nozzles are in good shape and replace worn or damaged nozzles before starting up.
Posted April 22, 2020
On April 21, 2020 the Jackson County Board of Commissioners declared Jackson County is in a drought and they are requesting that Governor Kate Brown declare a State of Drought Emergency for all of Jackson County. The Commissioners order is as follows:
BEFORE THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
STATE OF OREGON, COUNTY OF JACKSON
IN THE MATTER OF PROCLAIMING THAT A ) ORDER NO. 62-20
LOCAL DISASTER IS DECLARED AND A )
REQUEST TO DECLARE A STATE DROUGHT )
EMERGENCY FOR JACKSON COUNTY, )
WHEREAS. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners finds that Jackson County’s agricultural and
Livestock industries, and related economy, are anticipated to suffer widespread and severe economic damage, potential injuries, and loss of property resulting from extreme weather conditions within the
WHEREAS, annual water supplies available for irrigators and ranchers within Jackson County are a function of both available water storage in the Rogue River, Applegate River, and various reservoirs (Willow, Howard Prairie, Hyatt, Emigrant, Agate, Fish, and Four Mile Lakes); and the estimated seasonal inflow from winter snowpack; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has estimated that in this water year, October 1, 2019, through April 15, 2020, the Rogue Basin is at 75 percent of total average snowpack and 65 percent of total average precipitation, and as of April 1, 2020 for the reservoirs was below average, ranging from 39 to 89 percent of average; and
WHEREAS, long-term snowpack monitoring sites in the Rogue Basin have recorded below average levels for snow water equivalent, including three snow courses on Mt. Ashland that have been measured continuously for over 40 years; and
WHEREAS, the USDA reports that as of April 1, 2020, streamflow forecasts decreased slightly from the month prior, and water managers in Jackson County should prepare for well below normal to below normal water supplies; and
WHEREAS, Jackson County has approximately 40,000 acres of irrigation district lands, irrigated in part from stored water, many of which have chosen to delay opening day and may be forced to curtail water sources later this summer; and
WHEREAS, in addition to irrigation district lands, there are approximately 170,000 acres of irrigated lands that have individual water rights that will be affected by low reservoir and streamflow levels; and
WHEREAS, many farmers, ranchers, and vineyards rely solely upon natural water sources, which are not augmented by local reservoirs, and these natural tributaries to the Rogue and Applegate Rivers are in extreme jeopardy of drying as they rely upon annual snowpack to run; and
WHEREAS, the extended weather forecast for Jackson County projects higher than normal temperatures, and below average precipitation; and
WHEREAS, the above conditions result in loss of economic stability, pasture shortages, decrease in feed production, shortened growing season, and decreased water supplies for Jackson County’s agricultural, vineyard, and livestock producers; and
WHEREAS, the multi-year cumulative drought has resulted in decreased fuel moisture and early onset fire danger; and
WHEREAS, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners determines that extraordinary measures must be taken to alleviate the suffering of people and livestock, to protect or mitigate economic loss, and to be responsive to the threat of wildfires.
The Board of County Commissioners of Jackson County hereby PROCLAIMS:
- A local disaster is declared within Jackson County.
- The Drought Annex of the Jackson County Emergency Operations Plan has been implemented.
- Pursuant to Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 401.165, the Board finds that appropriate response is beyond the capability of Jackson County and is declaring a state of emergency for the purpose of assessment, evaluation, and acquiring the ability to provide appropriate available resources.
- A request to the Honorable Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon, to declare a State of Drought Emergency for all of Jackson County under the provisions of ORS 401.165 due to severe and continuing drought conditions beginning at this time, and continuing for an unknown period of time, and direct the Oregon Department of Water Resources to make available in Jackson County; Temporary Transfers of Water Rights, Emergency Water Use Permits, Use of Existing Right Option Agreement, and other Federal and State drought assistance and programs as needed.
- This Proclamation shall take effect immediately from and after its issuance.
DATED this 21st day of April, 2020, at Medford, Oregon.
JACKSON COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
/s/ Colleen Roberts
Colleen Roberts, Chair
/s/ Rick Dyer
Rick Dyer, Commissioner
/s/ Bob Strosser
Bob Strosser, Commissioner
Due to the existing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the need to promote physical distancing, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners is conducting meetings through electronic and telephonic means. On April 8, 2020, the Board of Commissioners approved Order No. 52-20 authorizing the use of their electronic signatures on Ordinances, Orders, and other documents. Following the motion and roll call vote, Commissioners Roberts, Dyer and Strosser authorized the use of her/his electronic signatures on the Board Order No. 62-20.
MC DONALD SYSTEM USERS ONLY (POSTED APRIL 14, 2020)
The McDonald, Upper West and Fredericks canals are all being charged and are ready to start making water deliveries. If you are ready to start irrigating, please call the District office at 541-535-1529 and we can contact the Ditch Rider to get you on the schedule. This system will be heavily impacted from the lack of snow pack since it does not have any storage facility to support it so, it will experience an early shutoff this season.
WATER SUPPLY UPDATE (POSTED APRIL 1, 2020)
This winter continues to be very dry with the snow pack at 70% of normal and the reservoir levels at 56% of average. The District does not anticipate starting the 2020 irrigation season until sometime during the first week of May, depending on the weather conditions. This will help extend the water supply later into the season.
TEMPORARY POLICY CHANGES DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
THE IRRIGATION LATE FEE HAS BEEN WAIVED FOR THE 2019-2020 BILLING YEAR. INTEREST WILL BE APPLIED TO ALL PAST DUE ACCOUNTS BEGINNING MAY 31, 2020. (POSTED 5/12/2020)
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 THE CORONA VIRUS CONCERNS, WE ARE RESTRICTING ACCESS TO OUR OFFICE LOBBY. PLEASE KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND WE WILL TAKE YOUR PAYMENT. PLEASE WAIT OUTSIDE THE DOOR WHILE WE PREPARE YOUR RECEIPT AND HAND IT BACK TO YOU.
YOU MAY ALWAYS MAIL YOUR PAYMENT TO OUR PO BOX 467, TALENT, OR 97540.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS AND NEED TO CONTACT THE DISTRICT WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO CALL US AT 541-535-1529.
WATER SUPPLY UPDATE (POSTED MARCH 12, 2020)
February was not kind to us this year. More often than not, January and February are our large storm event months adding to our snow pack and helping fill reservoirs. This year those months were unusually dry. The snow pack for the basin is running considerably below average (69%) together with the 3 reservoirs that T.I.D. relies on for storage water are running around 60% of average for this time of year. It is shaping up to be a much drier than normal water year, which could result in a shortened season.
While one or two significant storms, coupled with a late wet spring, could do a lot to alleviate some of the water year problems but depending on that could be short sighted. Irrigators should prepare for a short water year and make your systems as drought resistant and efficient as possible by making sure gravity ditches are cleaned and free of debris. Check the nozzles on sprinkler systems for wear (if they are worn or missing replace them).
T.I.D will start adding monthly water supply reports to the website on how the water year and supply are progressing.
At this point, with current conditions, we should at least expect a delayed start to the season, making it closer to May. The Board of Directors will consider the season start date and any operational conditions or changes at their April 7th meeting.
FEBRUARY 4, 2020
The annual irrigation bills were mailed out on January 31, 2020. If you have not received your bill by February 14th please give the office a call at 541-535-1529 and we can send you a copy. The bills are due by April 1st.
As a reminder, the District only accepts cash, check or money orders. We are not set up to accept credit or debit cards or checks over the phone.
NO SPRAY AGREEMENT
If you do not want the District spraying our easements and rights-of-way on your property, you need to sign a “No Spray Agreement” with the District on an annual basis. The forms must be completed and in the District office by December 31st of each year. If you would like a “No Spray Agreement” please contact the District by phone at 541-535-1529 or by email at email@example.com and the form can be emailed, faxed for sent regular mail.
There is no need for you to sign a “No Spray Agreement” if you do not have any District facilities on your property.
Since our procedures have not been reviewed in quite a while, TID will be reviewing our protocol regarding future spray applications and the types of products used.
Our office is open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Our phone number is 541-535-1529.
ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF PAYMENT FOR IRRIGATION BILLS
Talent Irrigation District is not set up to accept debit or credit cards or checks over the phone. The District only accepts cash, checks or money orders.
WHERE TO REMIT PAYMENTS
If you are mailing your payment it must be sent to our P.O. Box 467, Talent, OR 97540. The Talent Post Office does not deliver mail to businesses in downtown Talent, therefore, if you mail your payment to 104 West Valley View Road, your payment will be returned to you or (or your bank if it is an on-line bank check) by the post office.
DROPPING PAYMENTS OFF AT THE OFFICE
If you are dropping your payment off at the office our address is 104 West Valley View Road, Talent, OR 97540.
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.