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Newsletter Spring 2008

Water Supply Information & Ditch Rider Assignments

We are delighted to report that the District anticipates all three reservoirs filling once the record snow pack has melted off.

Even though we have a good water supply this irrigation season, 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 Talent Division 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 in future years.

With each reservoir at 100 percent, their capacities will be as follows:

Howard Prairie 60,637 acre feet
Hyatt Lake 16,180 acre feet
Emigrant Lake 39,000 acre feet

DITCH RIDER ASSIGNMENTS

The Ditch Rider assignments will be as follows:
Ashland Canal – Roger
East Canal (Upper Portion)- Robert
East Canal (Lower Portion) – Sam
Talent Canal – Bob
West Canal & McDonald – Steven

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. All water orders need to be placed by calling the District office. On the weekends, there is an answering machine on the office telephone number 541-535-1529 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 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 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 on-call person if your situation constitutes an emergency. An emergency is a situation where property damage is happening or is imminent.

The emergency answering service will not contact the on-call person for a water order or for lack of water.

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

As we have reported in previous newsletters, NOAA is still working on their Draft Biological Opinion. Since the Fall Newsletter was sent out there have not been any meetings with NOAA. However, the districts have had several meetings with the Bureau of Reclamation and our legal and scientific experts. The districts’ participation in these meetings is to make sure that our interests and the preservation of our water rights remain in the forefront in the development of the Biological-Opinion.

The ESA Consultation Process continues to be very expensive for the districts. Each of the irrigation districts have implemented a specific charge to help cover their portion of the costs of the consultation process. The TID Board of Directors would like to express their gratitude and appreciation for the continued support of our patrons in this extremely important issue.

The districts would like to take this opportunity to thank Jackson County for their donation to the RBWUC, Inc. in the amount of $5,000 this fiscal year and a recent $1,000 donation received from TID water user Lynda Marikos in February of this year. The districts very much appreciate any financial support from any agencies or individuals who would like to donate to this very important cause.

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. Please keep in mind that the demossing operation will cause limited interruptions in the canal flows so we ask that you be patient and work with the District during these times.

RRA FORMS

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 you 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.

CANAL SAFETY

The District is constantly 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 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.

The Bureau of Reclamation, Oregon Water Resources Congress, Idaho Water Users Association and the Washington State Water Resource Association have published a coloring book entitled “Otto Otter For Safe Canals”. The District currently has a small supply of the coloring books on hand if you would like to stop by the office and pick one up. The books are written in English and Spanish.

EMPLOYEE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION TAGS

The District has implemented a new program beginning this irrigation season. All TID employees who work in the field will be supplied with photo identification tags. The employees will wear these tags at all times while on duty. We hope that this will eliminate some confusion that happens when people see our employees on their property and they don’t know who they are.

If you ever have any questions as to whether a person who has entered your property is a TID employee, don’t hesitate to call the District office to confirm they are a current employee.

Board of Director 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 who are qualified to vote in the District . 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.

Irrigation Payments

This is just a reminder that the District is not set up to accept debit or credit cards. The office receives inquiries each year from people wanting to pay their bills over the phone by debit or credit cards.

The District checked into getting set up to accept debit and credit cards but because our use of the machines would be small, it was not cost effective.

Please remit your payments by check, money order or cash.

Micro-Hydro Electric Feasibility Study

The District applied for and received a grant from the Energy Trust of Oregon in the amount of $20,000. These funds are being combined with District funds to help pay for the cost of conducting a feasibility study to install micro-hydro electric plants on portions of the canal system to generate small amounts of power that can be sold to supplement the District’s revenue and eventually lessen the financial burden of the patrons.

The District went out to bid to solicit an engineering firm to conduct the feasibility study. The contract for the study was awarded to HDR Engineering, Inc. They have a local representative who is coordinating the study with their offices in Portland.

The District has areas on the canal system that could have adequate flows and slope to develop micro-hydro energy within the District’s existing infrastructure without impacting the District’s ability to deliver water to its’ patrons. The feasibility study is just the beginning of this proposed project. If the study conducted by HDR Engineering, Inc. is favorable it will take several years before the micro-hydro plants will be implemented.

Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA)

The KBRA has just recently been brought to the attention of the District. A brief explanation of the KBRA, as we understand it, is as follows:

This issue was brought on by the FERC relicensing requirement for the four lower dams on the Klamath River.

There was a group created of approximately 26 stakeholders in the Basin consisting of farmers and ranchers, non-project water users, Tribal interests, Federal, State and local governments and conservation and fishing groups in Oregon and, California. These stakeholders came together to study and develop a settlement to resolve longstanding disputes related to the allocation of water resources. The 26 stakeholders have taken two years of closed door meetings to develop the KBRA. There are several individuals and groups that believe the agreement , as it now exists, will severely limit irrigation, or shut off water completely to a large portion of the agricultural community so that the water can be put to other uses. This process by design will be complicated and open to challenges.

As you are aware, a significant percentage of our water is transported in from the Klamath Watershed.

The Board wants you to know that it takes any threat to the Districts’ water supply very seriously and they will continue to monitor this situation as far as it relates to our water supply.

For more information visit http://www.edsheets.com/Klamathdocs.html

THE WISE PROJECT IS BACK!

Actually WISE never left but it has been very quiet for the last two years. Because it has been so long since we last heard about the project a reminder is in order. The Water for Irrigation, Streams and Economy project is looking at modernizing the infrastructure of TID, MID and RRVID. The goals of the project are to improve irrigation delivery efficiency and reliability as well as to improve water quality in Little Butte and Bear Creeks.

The project is still in the Feasibility Study and Environmental Impact Study phase. However, over the next 12 months the WISE team looks to complete most of the technical studies, moving toward the completion of the studies and closer to an on-the-ground project. For more information see www.wiseproject.org.

Grant Funds Received for Cell Phone Boosters

The District applied for and received $1,155 in matching grant funds from Special Districts Association of Oregon to purchase and install signal boosters on the cell phones of our employees who are required to regularly work in outlying areas where cell phone coverage can be unreliable.