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Questions for Bureau of Reclamation by several people, irrigation districts, and groups of Klamath Project Irrigators
January 13, 2006

Thank you for your attention to these questions by Klamath Project Irrigators and Irrigation Districts. We will post the questions and your forthcoming answers on www.klamathbasincrisis.org website.

1. An irrigation district hired an attorney to write a letter to the Klamath Bureau of Reclamation office February 2005 regarding lease land revenues. This was followed up by a letter from the irrigation district June 2005 reminding the Bureau of the attorney's letter and also asking questions about reserve works. The response from the Bureau came December 15, 2005 to schedule a meeting after Jan 1, 2006 regarding the letters from last February and June. How can individuals and districts get timely response from the Bureau?

2. It takes the Bureau weeks to process power requests from farmers. How can this problem be corrected?

3. How many people work in the Bureau's Klamath Area Office?

4. In the questions we asked you in September 2005, you said that the next CIP (Conservation Implementation Program) draft would be out to the public in December of 2005, which to our knowledge did not happen. When do you now expect this to go out to the public?

5. CIP began a few years ago. When can we expect the final document?

6. When are the first CIP practices going to be recognized?

7. What are the CIP practices that will be implemented in 2006?

6. How much money was allocated to the CIP process?

7. What have been the CIP expenditures to date; how much money for what expenditures?

8. We have been told that Dr. Tom Hardy was paid with CIP funds to perform some scientific studies. How much was he paid and what service did he perform.

9. What is the timeline for a complete accounting of BOR operations in Klamath?

10. What is the current year to date detail of reimbursable costs in the Klamath Project?

11. What is the BOR emergency number to call on weekends? (not including 911)

12. It is our understanding the Bureau helped fund the Chadwick facilitator training in Yreka as well as previous sessions. How many people were trained to be consensus facilitators?

13. In December the Chadwick group was scheduled to meet to begin planning a Klamath Congress. Planning dam removal, water demand reduction, Tribal land acquisition, etc were some of the goals of the group. What is the current status of Chadwick’s Klamath Congress and planned meetings?

14. Is the Bureau still funding the Chadwick group? If not, who is?

15. We understand that the NAS will be reviewing the Natural Flow Study. Is this all that they will be looking at or is it a broader review? 
    a. If so what else will they be looking at?
    b. What is the make-up of this NAS Committee?
    c. Can the public comment on the make-up of this committee?
    d. If so, how much time is left in the comment period?

16. In 2003, the study of Long Lake to be used for 350,000 to 500,000 acre feet of deep-cool water storage was supported by our community including Klamath Tribes, Water Users Association, Klamath County Board of Commissioners, Tulelake Irrigation District, and Tulelake Growers Association as well as Bureau Commissioner John Keys. Thousands of acres of farmland have been acquired by the government in the Upper Klamath Basin and only provide shallow-warm water storage for down-river demands. At the 2004 Congressional Hearing at Ross Ragland in Klamath Falls on the Endangered Species Act, Regional Director Kirk Rodgers said the Bureau was "re-engaging that (Long Lake) study as we speak."
    a. Who is doing the research and study on Long Lake, and when will that be completed?
    b. Where in the process is that study?

17. With the Klamath Irrigators' power rate unknown, which could be the current rate to up to 2600 per cent increase for the 2006 season, and lawsuits demanding more of the irrigation water to go down the Klamath River, and the water table lowering from over-pumping the aquifer, what are the Bureau’s plans for a 2006 water bank?
     a. How many acres of fallow farmland, and how much groundwater are you planning to require of the Irrigators to fill lake-level and river-flow demands in 2006?
18. What is the story on the Clear Lake Dam that the Bureau built a few years ago? A Bureau person told us that is was crumbling?

19. Since the Project Irrigators did not think the dam needed to be rebuilt in the first place, will they be expected to pay for this project? Was the construction warranted?

20. What is the status of Barnes Ranch acquisition that was promoted as water storage for irrigation? We have heard that Fish and Wildlife Service plans to buy it; is that true? If so, for how much money and how will it be used?

Water Bank Problems for Irrigation Districts:
Irrigation Districts say they are "left out of the loop" regarding the water bank. These are some of the problems:
1. Districts are expected to deliver water to their customers, however they were not told who and at what location would be part of the water bank, and what kind of contract each person had with the Bureau.
2. A District had an irrigator in the water bank order Project water for their property which was supposedly not to be irrigated with Project water, then the irrigator ordered Project water for that property and explained how the Bureau made a special deal where he could irrigate water bank land they were paid for by you to not irrigate with Project water;  they pumped their well water into a ditch on the other end of the basin in a water transfer. Districts are not informed by the Bureau of 'special deals.'
3. Contracts with the Bureau and irrigators require weed control, cover crops, and other requirements specific to the individual contracts, such as, some irrigators are supposed to pump metered water onto certain property and not directly into ditches.  In the past we have not seen that anyone is monitoring compliance with your rules.
4. The Bureau has not worked with the Districts to plan which property would save the most water by being in the water bank. Districts have history and expertise in soils and drainage in their own areas. Collaboration with districts in selecting land for the water bank could save more water for Bureau demands for fish.
5. Some water bank pumpers put so much water into drains for water bank demands that the irrigation district must pump the water out of those ditches at the district's expense.

The Question:
These 5 issues with the Bureau's water bank have caused considerable problems and expense for districts. How will the Bureau in 2006 resolve each of these water bank problems with the irrigation districts?





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