Tulelake Irrigation District had
public meeting on groundwater management plan
with corrections in red
8/29/11 at Tulelake firehall 9 a.m. by KBC News
Today was the first TID groundwater management plan
meeting where the TID board presented to the public its
intension to create a groundwater management plan for
the entire district. Notice was in the legal pages of
the Herald and News.
Attending were board members John Crawford president,
Gary Wright and Jim Havlina. TID bookkeeper Grace
Phillips, manager Earl Donosky, and assistant managers
Jerry Pyle and Brad Kirby also attended. Others were
Modoc supervisor Geri Byrne, Modoc County employee Sean
Curtis, and Modoc Environmental Health Dept. Warren
Farnum, rancher and farmer Joe Hemphill, and farmer
Siskiyou County Supervisor Jim Cook recently met with
TID board several times and told TID that if they do not
create a groundwater management plan, then Siskiyou
County or the state of California will make a plan for
them. Cook encouraged TID to create this plan.
The board said this management plan was not because
of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement / KBRA. Krizo
said that the KBRA, which the board voted to support,
mandates we have a groundwater management plan; it is
part of the KBRA On Project Plan. She brought up that
the (accidently omitted 'KWAPA') board has already hired MBK engineering and Dan
Keppen for their groundwater plan, and the KBRA states
that the wells can have no adverse impact. An argument
followed with Crawford and Wright both yelling at Krizo.
Keppen was employed by the Bureau of Reclamation
before coming to Klamath Falls in 2001
(not 2002) to work as
executive director of Klamath Water Users Association.
He presently is director of Family Farm Alliance, and
engineer and media chairman for KWAPA, Klamath Water and
Power Agency, a group included in the KBRA.
Farnum felt that Siskiyou was using the "fear factor"
threatening that the county would make a plan for us. He
advised that DWR/Dept. of Water Resources would dump
Water Quality onto the entities (TID) creating the
management plan. He said, "It will be a cold day in hell
before they meter my well."
Joe Hemphill expressed concern about all the mandates
that could go with a management plan, and board member
Wright, who is also president of KWUA / Klamath Water
Users Association, began yelling at him and pointing his
Farnum said that some entities could later sue by
looking at the water data and management plan and
accusing TID of overdrafting.
Farnum advised that TID look at the caveats in the
plan, what they want, and what are the mandates, and
suggested there would be pumping fees. Kirby said there
would not be fees.
Curtis said TID would have to pay for our monitoring
chessboard, plus water quality mandates. He said with
this plan, according to water code, TID can regulate ag
Hemphill said if the state is broke and California is
not responsible, if we go down this road we'd have to
Wright again yelled at Hemphill for his input, and at
times he and Crawford shouted at Farnum.
Farnum said if TID becomes the groundwater management
entity, they'd be at the will of what DWR wants them to
do. They would hold water grants and loans over our
Kirby said TID is just doing this to manage the
TID is mandated to have another public meeting to
share their management plan. Then each TID water users
may vote on whether or not to support their plan. They
need 50% vote to pass it.
TID would not allow the water users to vote on the
KBRA because they didn't have to. When Tulelake voted in
last fall's election, 77% opposed the KBRA Klamath
Hydroelectric dam removal "agreement," yet TID continues
to support it and pay for it.