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Newsletter Spring 2007

CANCELLATION OF ANNUAL WATER USER MEETING

The District will not be holding an Annual Water User Meeting this year. As you can see below, the District is going into this irrigation season with a 100% water supply in all three reservoirs. Our experience in past years is that we have very limited attendance at these meetings in good water years.

With this being said, we would like to remind everyone that even though the water supply is good this year, it is still important to use water efficiently and conserve as much as possible. Water that is conserved this irrigation season is carried over to the next irrigation season. The purpose of the storage system is to help us through the lean water years. Since we never know how wet a winter we are going to have we need to do all we can to conserve water and help ourselves out for next year.

CURRENT WATER SUPPLY

The following is the current reservoir elevations:

Howard Prairie 60,637 acre-feet = 100% of capacity
Hyatt Lake 16,180 acre-feet = 100% of capacity
Emigrant Lake 39,000 acre-feet = 100% of capacity

DITCH RIDER ASSIGNMENTS

The Ditch Rider assignments will be as follows:

Ashland Canal – Roger Godard
East Canal – Upper Portion – Robert Derry
East Canal – Lower Portion – Sam Camp
Talent Canal – Harold Wagy
West Canal & McDonald – Steve Essary

During the irrigation season the District office is open to receive water orders from 7:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. On the weekends, there is an answering machine, on the office telephone number 535-1529 where water orders can be left. The answering machine is checked regularly on Saturday and Sunday by the Ditch Riders who are on-call. The Ditch Riders usually rotate on-call weekends. If you call the 535-1529 number and the line continues to ring and the answering machine does not pickup, it means that the answering machine is busy and you should hang up and call back in a few minutes. For after hour’s emergencies the phone number to call is 770-0315. The emergency answering service will contact the District’s emergency response person if your situation constitutes an emergency. An emergency is a situation where property damage is happening or is imminent, not a lack of water or a water order. The emergency answering service will not contact the emergency response person for a water order or for lack of water.

REMINDER OF THE CHANGE IN BILLING PROCEDURE FOR THE “REMINDER” NOTICES SENT OUT IN MARCH OF EACH YEAR

This is just a short reminder that the Board of Directors unanimously decided last year to stop sending out the “reminder” notices that were sent out in March of each year, 30 days prior to the due date of the annual charges.

No other part of the billing procedure was changed. The District will continue to send out the annual bills the first week of February and the payments will be due the first of April. The first delinquent statements will continue to be mailed out at the beginning of each month starting in April and following through to January of each year. Then the annual bills are mailed the first week of February and no other statement will be sent out until the first week in April. If your account is paid when due, you will not receive any more statements until the annual billing the following year.

UPDATE ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT (ESA) SECTION 7 CONSULTATION

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is still working on their Draft Biological Opinion (Bi-Op). Since the Fall Newsletter, the Bureau of Reclamation, irrigation districts and NOAA have had one meeting on the Draft Bi-Op. However the districts have had several meetings with our legal and scientific experts. Funds are continuing to be expensed for this legal and expert advice to make sure that the districts’ best interests remain in the forefront of the development of the final Bi-Op. It is imperative that the districts stay fully engaged in the process and are able to continue to provide a reliable water supply to all of our patrons.

The situation in the Klamath Basin in 2001 when the water was shut off to the farmers is still fresh in the minds of the Board of Directors. The Board believes that the District is on the right path to keeping our water supply intact and keeping costs under control. Being proactive in the ESA Consultation Process will help assure that accurate science is used in the development of the Bi-Op rather than the District being reactive and being put in the costly position of engaging in legal battles later. The District’s involvement gives us the opportunity to provide data to support the water needs of the District patrons.

The Board of Directors would like to express their gratitude and appreciation for the continued support of the District patrons in this extremely important issue.

For updates on the Consultation process throughout the summer, you may want to check the District’s website at www.talentid.org.

MOSS CONTROL

The District will continue to post our planned demossing operations on our website at www.talentid.org. Please feel free to check the website weekly for the most up to date information. The demossing operations will cause interruptions in the canal flows so we ask that you be patient and work with the District during these times.

MAINTAINING WATER RIGHTS

All land in the District that currently has a water right must maintain that water right by putting the water to a beneficial use at least once in every five-year period commencing with the 2002 water year. An example of this would be if you chose not to irrigate your land in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, you must irrigate your land for beneficial purposes in 2009, or your water right could be forfeited under Oregon State law. The District Ditch Riders started tracking idle land (land not being irrigated) starting with the 2002 irrigation season. After four years of non-use the District will notify you that you need to use the water or make arrangements to transfer the water, or you will lose the right to water. However, maintenance of the water right is the patron’s responsibility. The water right is a benefit to your land. If you choose not to use the water right as per the aforementioned five year period, it will be forfeited and the District will transfer it to another property to be used beneficially. It is very important to the District that all landowners maintain their water rights because the land base of water rights are the financial foundation of the District, and for the District to remain financially secure, it is important that the water rights remain valid.

To help the District document water use we encourage you to call into the District office at least once per irrigation season, even if you are on a regular rotation. This will help the District document water use and help prevent forfeiture of water rights under ORS 540.610.

DISTRICT ELECTION INFORMATION

An election is held on the second Tuesday of each November to elect a board member whose term is expiring. The person receiving the highest number of votes at said election shall be elected, and hold office for three years from the first Tuesday in January next following the election, and until a successor is elected and qualified. In order to qualify as a candidate to run for a board member position, the person must be a resident of Oregon and an owner, or shareholder of a corporate owner, of land within the District. Nominations for a board member position may be made by petition signed by at least 10 electors in the District who are qualified to vote for the director nominated by them. Nomination petitions may be picked up in the District office anytime after September 1st. If only one nomination petition is filed for the position, no election will be held. If you would like more information on board member elections please contact the District office.

CANAL SAFETY

The District is concerned with the safety of the general public and wants to remind everyone of the dangers posed by open irrigation canals. The canals and ditches contain slippery moss, sharp rocks, glass and barbed wire. There are a lot of hidden underwater dangers such as turbulence or suction, strong enough to rip off a lifejacket!

Some driveway crossings have a trash rack to catch debris as it floats in the water. The water pressure at these crossings is higher, causing even more danger in these areas.

Kids building dams in the canals or ditches for fun can cause extensive damage and expense. Please communicate to your friends and family how dangerous ditches and canals can be, and please call the District office immediately if you see someone swimming or bathing in the canals.

CANAL AND CANAL ROAD MAINTENANCE AND RIGHT-OF-WAYS

Those of you who own property along the main canal are well aware of the maintenance that has to take place on a regular basis. Each spring before water is in the canal, we clean the silt and vegetation from within the canal prism. We typically remove these materials and place them on the edge of the roadway to dry. At a later date, we then grade these materials back across the canal road or use them to level the road from damage caused by human and animal traffic during wet weather conditions. The District’s easements and right-of-ways are for District access, operation and maintenance only.

RECLAMATION REFORM ACT (RRA)

Federal funds of the Bureau of Reclamation were used to finance the reconstruction of the Talent Irrigation District in the late 50’s and early 60’s. Because of this, the Reclamation Reform Act (RRA) applies to the users of water within the Talent Irrigation District. If you own and/or lease property or properties which irrigate 40.1 acres or more, you must comply with the requirements of the RRA. If you own, operate or lease 40.1 acres or more and have not filed an RRA form, please contact our office immediately. The Bureau of Reclamation requires that the RRA forms be on file in the district office before water can be delivered to the property. It is the land owner’s responsibility, not the District’s, to make sure that their forms are filled out correctly and turned into the District office in a timely manner.

MONTHLY DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS’ MEETINGS

The regular board meetings of the Board of Directors of Talent Irrigation District are held at 1:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month at the District office at 104 Valley View Avenue, Talent, Oregon 97540, unless there is a time conflict and the board meeting needs to be changed. These meetings are open to the public. If you would like to be on the agenda to address the Board of Directors please submit your request in writing, and include the topic you wish to discuss with the Board at least one week prior to the meeting date so that you can be placed on the agenda.

TID’S WEB PAGE www.talentid.org

Talent Irrigation District has a web page where people with access to the Internet can update themselves on current issues at Talent Irrigation District. The following is a list of items that can be found on the TID web page:
1) History of the District
2) Listing of Board Members and Staff
3) Rules and Regulations
4) Current and Previous Newsletters
5) Weekly Demossing Schedules During the Summer Months
6) A link to The Bureau of Reclamation’s Teacup Reservoir Elevations
7) A link to Jackson County’s Smart-map
8) District Bylaws
9) Updates on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other issues
10) Water Right Transfer Policy
You may also e-mail the District directly from this website.

EMAIL ADDRESS

If you have a computer and would like to contact Talent Irrigation District by e-mail, the District’s e-mail address is tid@talentid.org or visit our website at talentid.org. There is a direct email link from our website.