Time to Take Action
Our Klamath Basin Water Crisis
Upholding rural Americans' rights to grow food,
own property, and caretake our wildlife and natural resources.

Klamath Basin Aquifer,
Ground Water,
Water Bank

Klamath Project Drought Response Agency
http://www.klamathwaterbank.com/ for groundwater and well programs,
and DRA agendas and minutes

Tulelake Irrigation District Well Reports

KWAPA / Klamath Water and Power Agency
dissolved in 2016


2007 water bank application information

Bureau of Reclamation
2005 water bank

HISTORY of the Klamath Project Waterbank

USGS final assessment of Klamath Water Bank, 98-page pdf file May 2005. (This study is not hard to read and we encourage you to read it. It explains that the mandatory 'water bank', demanding ground water and land idling, is depleting our aquifer, on wet years the mandates of 100,000 acre feet of water are inflexible and are not allowing our aquifer to recharge. It also states that is would make more sense if the entire Klamath Basin were responsible for the water bank, not just primarily the Klamath Project. It says wetlands evaporate more water than they store, and if you want upper basin land to be breached into the lake, it will not save water. KBC)

            *** Following are water hydrographs of wells being depleted,
followed by articles and letters.

9/30/04 This hydrograph is the Shasta View Irrigation District recorder well site about 3 miles NW of Malin and 3.75 miles north of the state line sent to KBC by Ned Gates, Hydrogeologist, Oregon Water Resources Department.

Thanks to the 2001 water shut-off, and to the mandatory land idling/aquifer pumping called 'water bank', our aquifer is being depleted. Several wells went dry of disabled this year and around 200 wells in 2001.

Go HERE for larger graph.

8/30/04, This is a hydrograph of a well near Midland, just south of Klamath Falls.

 This was sent by Ned Gates, Hydrogeologist, Oregon Water Resources Department. Since the 2001 irrigation water shut-off, and the mandatory water bank  which forces basin irrigators to idle farmland and pump groundwater, our aquifer is lowering 5 feet per year.
For large graph, go HERE.
8/21/04. According to Ned Gates, Hydrogeologist, Oregon Water Resources Department,  with the annual mandatory, Bureau of Reclamation-imposed 'water bank', our aquifer is being depleted by 5' per year. It is not recovering. Next year we are forced to idle land and pump ground water totaling 100,000 acre feet.

State obs well 1162 shows water level trends since 1994. This well is 5
miles north of the state line and about 4 miles northwest of Malin. The big drop was 2001 water shut off.

For larger graph, go HERE.


The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) last month released "Groundwater in the Eastern Lost River Sub-Basin, Langell, Yonna, Swan Lake, and Poe Valleys of Southeastern Klamath County, Oregon". The full report has 170 pages of text and 42 appendices (480 pages).  http://www1.wrd.state.or.us/files/studies/bonanza/GW_Rpt_41_E_Lost_River_Sub_Basin

BOR 2005 Klamath waterbank fact sheet, as related to crops, posted to KBC 10/8/05


State of emergency: More than 100 wells now dry in Klamath County, H&N 11/8/22. KBC NOTE: Wells have gone dry in the Modoc and Siskiyou Counties in the Klamath Project too. The Bureau of Reclamation withheld from farms our stored irrigation water in Klamath Lake far above the Endangered Species Act mandates for 2 species of suckers. That water supplies irrigation water to thousands of acres of Klamath Project farms, that then goes to our National Wildlife Refuges which the Bureau also dewatered, decimating habitat for 433 species of wildlife. More than 1000 miles of drain ditches and canals exist in the Klamath Reclamation Project supplying habitat and water for the most important stop on the Pacific Flyway for migrating birds. Dewatered. When our surface water is diverted to the ocean, our wells go dry, and farmers are penalized for depleting the aquifer. According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, our refuges provided habitat for more than 10,000 years. Until now.

* 2022 KPDRA No Irrigation Program Announcement 5/6/22.Applications are currently being accepted and the application deadline is June 15, 2022.

Judge halts curtailment for Siskiyou County irrigators, CFBF AgAlert 4/6/22. "Irrigators in Siskiyou County have won a court ruling to temporarily block a state water curtailment order that would have prevented area farmers and ranchers from tapping into percolating groundwater supplies they have relied on for decades...."Historically, the State Water Resources Control Board has not had jurisdiction over groundwater, and this was a classic example of government overreach where they exerted jurisdiction over percolating groundwater without authority and without evidentiary support."

! Sustainable Groundwater Management Plan, and March 16 agenda. This mandatory plan will evaluate our groundwater and control your ability to pump it to irrigate your field.

CALIFORNIA - Agencies working to sustain groundwater, AgAlert, CFBF 2/23/22. "...The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, if you haven't heard about it, it's knocking on your door... East Kaweah added emergency restrictions on groundwater pumping last October and set a maximum allocation and a fine of $500 per acre-foot for those who exceed the pumping restriction..."


Tulelake Subbasin Groundwater Sustainability Plan COMMENTS DUE November 12, 2021
KBC Note: After reading The Plan, please voice your questions and concerns on KBC Facebook page, and we welcome those familiar with the plan to share input with us. With our stored water illegally taken from us by Reclamation, our groundwater management is vital to our farms and refuges.
"In SGMA (Sustainable Groundwater Management Act), sustainable groundwater management is defined as management of groundwater supplies in a manner that can be maintained in planning and implementation phases without causing undesirable results. Undesirable results include significant and unreasonable chronic lowering of groundwater levels, reduction of groundwater storage, seawater intrusion, degraded water quality, land subsidence, and depletions of interconnected surface waters."
"Update: On behalf of the Tulelake Subbasin GSAs, MBK Engineers will be providing an overview of the public draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan during the following meetings-
10/12/2021 – Tulelake Irrigation District Board of Directors Meeting
10/19/2021 – City of Tulelake City Council Meeting
10/19/2021 – Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Reminder: The Tulelake Subbasin GSAs have posted the public draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan online (https://tulelakeid.com/tulelake-subbasin-groundwater.../) and are asking for any comments to be submitted by November 12, 2021. Please visit the webpage for additional information.


  IMPORTANT! Comment on the Draft plan of how your groundwater will be managed
Update: On behalf of the Tulelake Subbasin GSAs, MBK Engineers will be providing an overview of the public draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan during the following meetings-
  • 11/02/2021 Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors Meeting (rescheduled from 10/19/2021)

    The next Tulelake Core Team meeting is scheduled for November 17, 2021.  An agenda will be sent out and posted to the website prior to the meeting.

Reminder: The Tulelake Subbasin GSAs have posted the public draft Groundwater Sustainability Plan online (https://tulelakeid.com/tulelake-subbasin-groundwater-sustainability-plan/) and are asking for any comments to be submitted by November 12, 2021. Please visit the webpage for additional information.

Misty Buckley writes to the Oregon Emergency Board about her domestic well going dry 10/28/21. "...We are one of several (at least 4) homes in our neighborhood whose well has went dry this summer...there were ag wells pumping near our home that (as far as I know) never got shut off all season long and illegal marijuana grows stealing water that were turned in numerous times throughout the summer but not raided until just recently, to say the least it’s tough to feel that the average homeowners should have to bear this exorbitant burden without some type of assistance..."
FOLLOWED BY: Comment by KID/Klamath Irrigation District Manager Gene Souza, on the reason 410 domestic wells went dry this summer:
“…many shallow domestic wells, which were put into the previous marshlands and lakebeds, went dry because the irrigation water was not allowed to fill the canals and be applied to the former marshlands and lakebeds..."

"My name is Rhonda N., I am a homeowner in the Klamath Basin that has lost the use of my domestic well." 10/28/21.

Helicopters to make low-level flights over the Tulelake and Scott River, Shasta, Butte, Big and Fall River Valleys groundwater basins this October, letter from Sustainable Groundwater Management Office, CA Dept of Water Resources 10/15/21. From William A Simpson: "(This is regarding) upcoming geological surveys to occur in the Shasta, Scott, Butte and Tulelake Groundwater Basins. "These CA Water People are really targeting ALL of our water... this hi-tech prospecting method will allow them to locate any unknown aquifers and claim them in addition to all the other waters they already have in their sights... Many ranchers and farmers own their mineral and water rights, which are now at risk of exploitation by the greedy people in Sacramento! " by Captain William E. Simpson II, Naturalist - Author - Conservationist.
FOR CA Dept of Water Resources POWERPOINT: https://bosagenda.co.siskiyou.ca.us/PublishedMeetings.htm  go to meeting 10/5/21, # 8B Natural Resources, then click on 2 and hopefully the power point should appear.

Klamath County domestic well assistance extended through March 2022, 10/7/21. "Due to a zero allocation of Upper Klamath Lake water to the Klamath Project this summer, dry irrigation canals and increased agricultural groundwater pumping left over 200 homes in the project footprint without water in their domestic wells."

California State Water Resources Control Board throws out SGMA and issues water curtailment order. Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors letters to State Water Resources Control Board 9/24/21 "SGMA/Sustainable Groundwater Management Act was specifically designed to allow for local control over groundwater management, providing all communities with the ability to address short and long-term sustainable groundwater needs.

Siskiyou County hosts public review of groundwater sustainability plans Sept 15+16, H&N 9/3/21.

Help for dry well owners as groundwater decline persists, H&N 8/7/21. "In July, the number of dry wells registered in Klamath County was at 84. A month later, that number has climbed to 185 as wells from the California state line all the way to Crescent and La Pine are getting low and going dry..."

Wells run dry in many Basin homes, H&N 7/17/21

Dry year intensifies focus on California groundwater, by Danny Merkley, director of water resources for the California Farm Bureau 3/17/21. "...In 2014, the state Legislature passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, the most sweeping water management legislation in 100 years...

Congress frees up $10 million for Project drought relief, H&N 10/2/2020.

Congressional Delegation pushes flexibility in $10M water relief, H&N 7/3/20.

* Deadline June 10 - Klamath Project Drought Response Agency continues helping farmers, 5/15/20

Klamath Project Drought Response Agency is accepting applications for 2020 programs due May 15

Now is the time to comment on California groundwater plans, CFBF April 1, 2020. "The new deadlines for the public to comment on the posted plans are May 15 and June 3, depending on when the GSP was posted online."

A 'wait and see' world for water users regarding Upper Klamath Basin wells regulated by OWRD, H&N 12/19/19

OWRD to host groundwater management open house Dec 17, H&N 11/22/19

Rules slash regulatory reach over Upper Klamath wells, Capital Press 4/12/19. “Pumping shutdowns by the Oregon Water Resources Department have been a source of controversy in the Upper Klamath Basin in recent years, with the agency facing multiple lawsuits arguing that regulated wells aren’t actually interfering with surface water rights... 'Overall, the rules are still bad for us, bad for the entire state of Oregon,' said Tom Mallams, an area farmer who sat on a “rules advisory committee” about the interim regulations. 'It’s unlikely OWRD will actually abide by a provision stating that the interim rules won’t set a precedent,' he said. 'Water Resources say they won’t or say they will, and they don’t stick to it. The final rules may again increase the number of wells subject to regulation while retaining provisions about the adverse impacts from groundwater pumping, hindering irrigators from challenging shutdowns in court,' said Mallams.'The OWRD likely reduced the distance in the interim rules to avoid court challenges in the meantime,' he said. 'That’s a very appealing carrot to the irrigators, but we know that’s just to put a stop to the litigation against them.' ”

Conference call on water April 12 in Klamath; OWRD to host OWRC conference call 3/28/19. "The OWRD will ask the commission to consider adoption of proposed rules that manage groundwater and surface water in the Upper Klamath Basin."

* Groundwater Workshop in Siskiyou County: Understanding the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act on 3/14/19

Tom MallamsDraft groundwater rules: Great news or just another Trojan Horse? Guest opinion by Tom Mallams, Beatty irrigator and former Klamath County Commissioner, H&N 2/14/19. COMMENTS DUE 3/4/19, hearings Feb 21 & 26. "Oregon Water Resources Department, (OWRD), admitted that this wording means the entire Klamath Basin, not just the Upper Klamath Basin. This wording will put all wells in the entire Klamath Basin at risk (of being shut off) as well as other areas in Oregon."
Public hearings set on Upper Basin well regulation 2/4/19

Local rules governing control of well use in the Upper Klamath Basin: OWRD / Oregon Water Resource Dept. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, filed 1/29/19
OWRD Hearings: 2/21/19 in Salem, 2/26/29 Klamath Falls
4 business days after the Klamath Falls hearing.
OWRD webpage:

Klamath groundwater meeting< Scaled-back Klamath groundwater regulation debated, H&N 1/29/19. "Tom Mallams, who represented the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association on the committee, said the agency’s statement about the connection between ground and surface waters was unproven and “erroneous.”

KLAMATH - Groundwater rule undergoes two-year testing, letter to editor by Larry Sees, Beatty, for H&N 1/27/19

Letter from Ann SeCoy, Beatty, Oregon to Klamath County Commissioners, Oregon State and Federal Representatives & Senators regarding 140 Upper Klamath ag wells shut off, and responses from Senator Linthicum and Rep. Reschke 4/30/18.
At the "Open House" with ORWD tonight at the Sprague River Community Center, all I heard repeatedly was:
1) how their hydrology science is fact, but
2) it isn't perfect, so therefore it is their best estimate
3) how the Klamath Tribes have no need to demonstrate the water they are claiming is being put to good use (unlike the similar demands made of the ranchers, who have 5 years to demonstrate productivity with their well water use or their loose their rights)
4) the law is the law, and it doesn't matter that it isn't equally applied, it MUST be enforced.
   We are all in a horrific position of what on earth we are going to do with the proper management of our fields, pastures, and livestock.  Do we sell our herd of cows in a bad market?  Do we put them out to graze on what is our hay crop that is just coming up?  Do we have to get rid of our children's 4H sheep breeding program?
   All these questions that we would not have to deal with if our well was simply ONE FOOT farther than one mile from the tributary that feeds into the Sprague River..."

$10.3 million in drought relief OK'd, H&N 5/4/18. "The top-level approval frees up the funds for the Bureau of Reclamation to issue a proposal to distribute the money to on-Project irrigators, Walden said. A proposal from Reclamation could be released as early as Friday or on Monday at the latest... The money is slated to fund pumping, land idling, and disaster relief."

Tensions rise as OWRD regulates wells in Sprague River; 35% revenue loss expected in Upper BasinMore than 80 notices to shutoff groundwater wells within up to a mile of surface water in the Upper Basin. Up to 114 of the 140 known wells in the area could be regulated...'They were regulated last year even though we had 140 percent of snowpack.' "

Judge rejects claims of Klamath Basin irrigators, H&N 9/8/17. "...The plaintiffs argued their wells were drilled into a confined aquifer that’s separated from the Sprague River by layers of rock and clay, as well as a shallower alluvial aquifer. Shutting down the wells isn’t allowed because OWRD only has jurisdiction over wells drilled into an aquifer “adjacent” to the surface water..." “There’s nothing to stop Oregon Water Resources from regulating every aquifer in a basin (within a mile of surface waters) and calling it an aquifer system,” (attorney Laura Schroeder) said."

Former Klamath County Commissioner Tom MallamsLocal rancher, Tom Mallams, challenging well shutdown, H&N 7/19/17. "...Mallams has petitioned Marion County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Hart to overturn OWRD’s order because it’s “not supported by substantial evidence” as required by Oregon law..." KBC NOTE: Tom Mallams told KBC News he has not been interviewed by Herald and News or Capital Press regarding this matter within the past two years.

Action Alert! SB 252 Hampers Progress of SGMA / Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, 6/26/17, California Farm Bureau Federation  6/26/17

COMMENTS DUE September 4! Draft (Groundwater) Basin Boundary Regulations Released by Department of Water Resources, posted to KBC 8/21/15.

"40 wells Oregon Water Resources Dept. plans to shut off this year. (So far)" This was sent to KBC 7/14/15. These are Upper Klamath Basin Wells.

California waterboard curtailment notices

Water shutoffs along Sprague coming. Some 40 upper Basin wells may be regulated, too, H&N 6/25/15

Bureau makes call for water, shutoffs anticipated, H&N 6/17/15

"Modeling program on wells done by OWRD (Oregon Water Resource Department) is majorly flawed," Klamath County Commissioner Tom Mallams 5/17/15. "This is the same model that "claims" all the upper basin wells are also connected to surface water...At the March 23rd Senate Hearing in Salem, on Senate Bill 206 & 264, OWRD and Richard Whitman, Policy Director for Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s Natural Resources Office, admitted under questioning from Senator Doug Whitsett that they "hoped" their accuracy rate on this modeling program could be 50%..." KBC NOTE: Whitman is a major player of supporting the Klamath Dam Removal Agreements.
Geosyntec consultants City of Klamath Falls review of OWRD model for Frement and Wocus wells, and the Congor well field 5/4/15
Geosyntec Executive Summary 4/6/2015. "OWRD requested shutoff of two city wells...The OWRD model is flawed for municipal use for several reasons..."

Groundwater Rules Comment period extended to March 2

Comment period for Basin groundwater rules extended (until March 2). An additional rulemaking hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 18, H&N 1/17/1

Two groundwater rules meetings open to the public, H&N 1/15/15
       * Today’s open house at Oregon Tech begins at 4 p.m., and the hearing starts at 6 p.m.

       * Residents can learn about and comment on proposed groundwater rules at two meetings this week.
  * Tomorrow’s meetings run from 8 to 11 a.m. (Friday January 16, 2015

Groundwater study group meets Nov. 18

Rep. Gail Whitsett has several bills planned. Whitsett also plans to submit an updated version of the groundwater bill HB 4044, H&N, posted to KBC 11/16/14

Groundwater study group meets Nov. 18. Residents can find out more about groundwater rules, H&N, posted to KBC 11/16/14. KBC Note: The KBRA / Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement mandates Klamath Basin irrigators to have a groundwater management plan which will control how much groundwater an irrigator may use on their own property, mandating 'no adverse impacts'. What constitute an "adverse impact" will be decided by tribes, environmental groups, government agencies and a few farmers. Tulelake Irrigation District has already installed this mandate of the KBRA. However, they did tell their constituents that their plan "is not a requirement of...the KBRA..." and "will not regulate groundwater within the Plan area."

California: CCM urges Governor to veto ‘ambiguous’ groundwater legislation, Fresh Fruit Portal 9/17/14. "KBC NOTE: California Governor Jerry Brown signed this controversial groundwater legislation 9/16/14)

City OKs hire to consult on groundwater. Hydrogeologist will examine wells and geothermal aquifer, H&N, posted to KBC 8/24/14. "The consultants will help determine if city wells interfere with groundwater resources, as well as how the geothermal aquifer operates, Willrett explained.  The need for the consulting work stems from the Oregon Department of Water Resources order that the city cease the use of the Fremont and Wocus wells due to insufficient stream flow into Upper Klamath Lake and its tributaries..."

Council may hire water attorney, H&N 8/17/14. "Members of City Council Monday night will consider an agreement with a hydrogeologist ... to help determine if city wells interfere with groundwater resources, as well as how the geothermal aquifer operates, as stated by the Oregon Water Resources Department."

Groundwater aquifers under stress. Families drilling deeper to reach precious water supply. H&N 8/14/14

BOR, PacifiCorp reach agreement on reservoir releases  H&N, posted to KBC 8/16/14. "According to KWAPA Executive Director Hollie Cannon, the combination of consecutive drought years and new rules in place to protect endangered fish in the Klamath watershed means irrigators are given less surface water, forcing them to turn to groundwater..."

Oregon's expansion of regulations of surface and groundwater use, by Senator Doug Whitsett 8/13/14. "What the Department is not making clear to the public is that their proposed permanent rules make substantial and critical changes to the existing emergency rule. The rule being proposed extends the Department’s authority beyond its regulation of surface-water, to include the regulation of groundwater under the preferential use of water for human and stock-water during drought. This rule appears to be another attempt by the Department to use its rule making powers to extend its authority to regulate surface water under the Klamath River Adjudication, to include the regulation of groundwater."

Why Willamette Valley farmers should watch Klamath Falls' water rights fight, Statesman Journal, posted to KBC 5/10/14. "The agency identified 130 wells (including Mallams) that could interfere with surface water sources, meaning he and other farmers could lose both sources of water this summer. 'You virtually cannot prove there isn’t interference because of the way they did the modeling,' Mallams said. 'I am considered guilty unless I prove myself innocent and I cannot prove myself innocent.' For Whitsett, that means the OWRD can do the same thing to any watershed in Oregon."

KWAPA agrees to fund project. Data from agencies monitoring Klamath Project groundwater wells put into one online database, H&N 5/7/14. "Cannon explained that implementing a groundwater monitoring system to ensure sustainable use also is a condition of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. 'If the KBRA were to be approved today, we would be behind schedule because we need this information in place,' he said."  
KBC NOTE: From the 2012 Tulelake Irrigation District groundwater management plan fact sheet, "The Plan is not a requirement of, and is not being developed for, the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) or the "on-Project Plan" of the KBRA...this groundwater management plan will not regulate groundwater within the plan area..."

Brandan Topham February Newsletter - OWRD to shut off surface and ground water to Upper Klamath ranches and farms, posted to KBC 2/23/14. "The State recently told us that they are going to shut off all of the surface water above Klamath Lake again this year....(OWRD) has decided that it will also shut off most of the wells above Klamath Lake."

Water Interference Bill, legislative update by Oregon Rep Gail Whitsett, posted to KBC 2/21/14. "....Over 130 Klamath Basin farmers and ranchers have been threatened by the OWRD to have their irrigation ground water wells shut down as soon as April 2014.  This is in addition to the same ranches having all of their surface water called on, and shut off, by the Klamath Tribes (as the newly adjudicated senior water right holder) and the OWRD in 2013. The adjudication provides absolutely no direct statutory control over ground water, but the OWRD is trying to tie the two water sources (ground and surface) together in an attempt to gain control over all of the ranch and farm lands (through their water) in certain areas of the Basin, without going through the process of defining a “Critical Groundwater Area”. OWRD does not want to go through this process as there really is not a shortage of ground water in this region..."

< Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett and Rep. Gail Whitsett  Science of shutoffs, well water monitoring law aims to clarify ownership, H&N 2/7/14. “We fully support the OWRD authority to regulate wells that are materially interfering with senior water rights. However, we believe the state should be required to prove that the use of irrigation wells is materially and measurably harming a water right holder with a superior priority date,” Gail Whitsett said."


TID Public Meeting on Groundwater Management Plan 2/27/13  HERE for PLAN

Scott Valley Groundwater, by Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong, posted to KBC 11/13/12.

Groundwater - How much can we use?, followed by 40,000 acre-feet likely to be pumped, H&N 5/24/12

USGS: USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2012–5062? - Groundwater Simulation and Management Models for the Upper Klamath Basin, Or May 5, 2012

10/8/11: KBC corrections and explanations in response to criticisms, of our 8/29 notes of TID groundwater management plan meeting, by TID and Family Farm Alliance Executive Director and engineer Dan Keppen. There are also some notes from TID's 9/20 public meeting, and the Water for Power meeting quotes and audio, by KBC editor. (Groundwater management plan is mandated in the KBRA).

ELF, water board: Water is not property, Siskiyou Daily News, posted to KBC 3/27/11.
Past President of Friends of the River http://www.envirolaw.org/staff.html James Wheaton, is President and Legal Director of the Environmental Law Foundation, and past President of Friends of the River. He is also a board member of the River Network, http://www.rivernetwork.org/board-of-directors , along with Wyatt Rockefeller, who served on Obama's EPA and Obama's campaign. Craig Tucker, presently spokesperson for the Karuk Tribe, at the KBRA table, is founder and board member of Klamath Riverkeeper, and was past spokesman for Friends of the River.
Siskiyou County responds to ELF, water resources board briefs, Siskiyou Daily 1/13/11. "...Guarino also questions the water resources board’s alignment with the petitioning parties on a number of issues in the case...The case is Environmental Law Foundation v. State Water Resources Board, in which the Environmental Law Foundation and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations and Institute for Fisheries Resources have asked the courts to declare that groundwater in the Scott River basin can be managed under the Public Trust Doctrine." George Soros funds Earthjustice, which provided free legal services PCFFA and Institute for Fisheries Resources, litigants against Siskiyou County, and also for Friends of the River and Klamath Riverkeeper. Here is the story by PCFFA how they created IFR to get non-profit funding, namely, George Soros-funded Earthjustice.
HERE is the agenda of the California Water Control Board, lead agency in the CAl/EPA Environmental justice Action Plan in the Klamath River Basin.



Groundwater meeting draws in many, Siskiyou Daily 4/21/11

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Review 2/25/11. "Despite a $25.6 billion deficit, the legislature introduced 2,438 bills by the February 18th introduction deadline." Included in link are a few, like developing Ocean Protection Council with "no public participation," 15% increase in vehicle licenses, mandatory groundwater recharge regulations, timber harvest approval by 4 state agencies, $12.8 million in new water fees

California Farm Bureau Federation Friday Review of bills and laws 2/11/11: Williamson Act funding, County Fair funding, groundwater management, AB 316 metal theft, and AB 856 fertilizing materials inspection program.

Assembly Committee Holds Groundwater Oversight Hearing, RCRC Report, posted to KBC 2/5/11

Funding available for wells impacted by depleting aquifer, deadline Dec 31

Klamath - When the wells run dry.  Some Basin residents had to take out loans to deepen their domestic water source, H&N, posted 9/15/10. KBC REMINDER: See photos on top of this website; Klamath Basin was historically a huge lake; we diverted water OUT of the basin and INTO the Klamath River to grow food. Never before has this land gone dry except in 2001, and this year, when the government demanded more water to be diverted INTO the river.

Horsefly Irrigation District is tasked with keeping water safe for drinking for Bonanza-area residents, H&N 8/19/10

Domestic well users hit hard during growing season, H&N, posted to KBC 7/25/10. "

Drop in aquifer affecting Merrill area, H&N 7/13/10

* Plea for Help! Merrill aquifer selling is drying up wells! Letter to KBC, and KBC response--who to call
Holly Cannon, KWAPA director: 541 850 2503
Greg Addington, KWUA director: 541 883 6100
KWAPA/Klamath Water and Power Agency directors:
Ed Bair, 541 884 1442
John Crawford, 530 667 2736
Bill Heiney: 530 664 4444,
Dave Cacka, 541 723 5151
Rocky Liskey, 541 798 5789
* No water for city of Merrill, increased use of groundwater sucks water tower dry; fix expected to take two days, H&N 7/1/10
* Without water, Merrill residents are making do, and * Merrill out of water, H&N 7/1/10
KBRA NOTE: The last we heard, the Merrill irrigation well owners are still pumping and selling the aquifer. 7/2/10
* Municipal wells in Klamath Basin town runs dry 7/2/10
* Klamath Basin Water Management
for AgLifeNW Magazine, August issue, by (Senator)Doug Whitsett 7/19/04

(California) Legislative report calls for water changes; Groundwater supply not sustainable, needs permitting, by Hank Shaw, Capital Press, posted 11/2/08  "Freeman's report includes a section on how much water the same crops use in different areas. This could lead to policymakers declaring that growing a certain crop in a certain area does not qualify as a "reasonable use" of water, essentially banning it."

Summaries of the two House Bills (2564 and 2566) regarding water measurement of ALL wells and surface waters in Oregon, followed by House Bills, sent by Oregon Senator Doug Whitsett, District 28, posted 3/24/07.

Water issues on local lawmakers agenda, H&N 3/20/07.  "State Sen. Doug Whitsett, R-Klamath Falls, continues to work on water issues affecting the Klamath Basin. The senator recently met with Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s natural resources policy director to discuss the total maximum daily load on Upper Klamath Lake. Whitsett wants to address inaccuracies in the load. Whitsett also is campaigning against HB 2564, which would require water measurement devices on all domestic and agricultural wells, irrigation allocations and pond and stream diversions."

Senator Doug Whitsett asks for testimony on mandatory water meters, 2/19/07. "House Bill 2564 would require installing and maintaining water measuring devices on all municipal, industrial, agricultural, and domestic uses of the waters of the state." "A hearing for public testimony on mandatory water measurement is scheduled for 3 P.M. Wednesday, February 21st in Hearing Room HR C by the House Committee on Energy and the Environment." {KBC NOTE: in California a law was passed that they could not mandate meters. In the Bay area, we spoke with a farmer who said after he put in meters, he now must pay more than $100/acre foot to pump water from his own well on his own property.}

Bureau Press Release: Deadline Nears for Participating in Bureau of Reclamation’s 2007 Water Acquisition Program-Feb. 15, 2007

PRESS RELEASE, Bureau of Reclamation: Call for Applications for 2007 Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Study, 

What is the aquifer, KPVI News Channel 6, posted 10/2/06. "Jerry Rigby, chair, Idaho Water Resources Board: 'It's an accounting system, you only get a reservoir to increase its level when water's being put in.' " (KBC NOTE: in Klamath Basin, the Department of the Interior's 'water bank' is taking 100,000 acre feet of our stored water and aquifer and putting it into the Klamath River, artificially elevating river flows above historic levels. This water bank is sucking out our aquifer at the rate of 5' per year, and is not allowing our aquifer to recharge.)

Bureau: Aquifer use necessary, H&N, posted to KBC 7/22/06
County questions water use, Commissioners object to aquifer irrigation in a good water year, H&N, posted to KBC 7/22/06
(KBC note: Our aquifer is being depleted by 5' per year according to OWRD. Yet the BIA paid for science by Dr Hardy which forces irrigators to pump the aquifer to artificially elevate Klamath River flows. So irrigators are told to pump the aquifer or shut down the Klamath Project, which is storage paid for by irrigators. This is a flood year yet we still are required to deplete our aquifer.)

Bureau to stabilize lake levels, H&N 6/13/06.  

Current program not a long-term solution; Water bank program designed as stop-gap measure, H&N 5/18/06  HERE for history of the waterbank and related articles.

Water bank figures start to roll in, H&N 3/8/06. (Snow pack last month was 158% of average. However the Bureau's mandatory water bank will take more than 100,000 acre-feet of water, (1/4 Project downsize) from irrigation and send it to the ocean to artificially raise the lake level and river flows because of the biological opinion driven by Dr Hardy science. KBC) HERE for Hardy page.  

Bureau: Project water bank succeeding, H&N 2/11/06. ( After 2001 water shutoff, the Bureau of Reclamation told Project Irrigators they must participate in the "water bank" which would downsize the Project by 1/4, or else the Klamath Project would be shut down. Is that voluntary? KBC).

Water bank deadline Feb. 16, H&N posted to KBC 2/6/06.  

PRESS RELEASE: We finally found the Bureau of Reclamation press release regarding this year's mandatory waterbank for Klamath Basin irrigators; it was in a National Water Resources Association newsletter. Posted to KBC 1/24/06

Bureau accepting water bank applications, H&N 1/18/06.

Oregon Water Resources Commission met with Klamath Commissioners and Irrigators 10/31/05, submitted article
State Water Commission meets Thursday in Klamath; agenda includes tour of basin, H&N 10/26/05.
Commission rejects Basin water petition, H&N 7/30/05
Waterwatch, Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, PCFFA, etc petitioned to influence Oregon Water Resource Commission at a meeting Friday, July 30, to end  further water appropriations in the Klamath Basin. The following letters are from Klamath Water Users Association and Senator Doug Whitsett:
* Letter by Klamath Water Users to Oregon Water Resource Commission regarding Water Appropriations in the Klamath Basin, 7/27/05.
*Letter by Senator Whitsett to Oregon Water Resource Commission regarding Water Appropriations in the Klamath Basin, 7/27/05.

Water Bank Water Used by 9/13/05: 102,835 Acre-Feet. The Biological Opinion deemed flawed by the National Research Council demands 100,000 acre feet of the irrigators' stored water and aquifer (which is dropping 5 feet per year according to Oregon Water Resource Department). Last week TID was requested to again pump their wells by the Bureau of Reclamation, sending aquifer water into Klamath Lake and Klamath River over and above waterbank demands.

Put Blame in right place, Herald and News letter by Ed Baley, Tulelake Irrigation District board of directors president, posted to KBC 9/20/05

Researchers say water table critical to alfalfa irrigation, Capital Press posted to KBC 9/11/05

TID manager Earl Donosky said that the Bureau of Reclamation has requested they pump the TID wells again, over and above what was said to be required for the water bank. 9/20/05

TID well reports 8/25/05 TID manager Earl Donosky says they plan to finish all well pumping by Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
Bureau of Reclamation, "The water bank requirement for 2005 is 100,000 acre-feet of water." Water Bank Water Used by 07/20/05:   102,835 Acre-Feet
     Two families have contacted KBC because their wells have gone dry.

PHOTO: Water pumped from TID well on Stateline Rd. to fulfil the Bureau's waterbank demand of 100,000 acre feet of our stored irrigation water and aquifer. Link River used to go dry in the fall before the Project was built for irrigation water storage.

Put a stop to craziness, H&N 8/18/05 "The environmentalists have been trying to eliminate farming in the Basin. I feel the irrigation district and the 31 people in Oregon are playing into the hands of environmentalists. When they drain all the underground water dry there will be no more farming. Write to the government and put a stop to this craziness."

Houses lose well water  H&N 8/12/05  "The goal of the bank is to boost flows down the Klamath River for coho salmon." See water bank page for charts, articles, and downright blackmail that forces irrigators and districts into selling our aquifer down the river to make Klamath Lake and River levels higher than possible before the Klamath Project was built. KBC)

Dave Sabo, Bureau of Reclamation, addressed the Klamath County Commissioners regarding Klamath water situation, 5/17/05 by Barb Hall, Klamath Bucket Brigade. 

Study finds water bank can't do it all, H&N 5/15/15

A positive step for Klamath, editorial LA Times by JOHN W. KEYS III Commissioner Bureau of Reclamation U.S. Department of the Interior Washington, D.C. (Is downsizing the Klamath irrigation by over 1/3 in drought and flood years, and depleting our aquifer 5 feet per year, "positive"? Positive for who? For those who built and paid in full for the Klamath Project to store irrigation water, which allows for higher-than-historic river flows and lake levels, and makes available free regulated water for power which was not available before the project....it is not "positive." See Waterbank Page for more info.

15-percent irrigation cutback sought, H&N 4/8/05. Actually this would be a 45% irrigation cutback. The Bureau of Reclamation 'water bank' has demanded 100,000 acre feet of water from the Klamath Basin, or 1/3 of our irrigation water.  Add 15%. Even after hundreds of conservation projects and approximately 100,000 acres of ag land have been converted to wetlands, the remaining irrigators have no assurance.  They have nothing but fear, being targeted to supply our stored irrigation water and our depleting aquifer to send water down the river to make higher-than-historic lake levels and river flows. See waterbank page.

Report faults costs of Klamath water bank, Oregonian by Michael Milstein 3/31/05. (The Bureau of Reclamation demands over 100,000 acre feet of irrigation water this year, 1/3 of water we stored in the project we paid for to be sent to the ocean. Now the ecoterrorists are using our depleted aquifer and compensation to landowners as leverage to try to buy our farmland, creating arid waste. It would destroy  habitat of 489 species of wildlife and $200 million worth of crops. Historically the river went dry before the project was built, so water that used to be in lakes-converted-to-farmland is now being diverted down the river, creating artificially high lake levels and river flows. Go figure...KBC)

Regardless of 'Best Available Science', Bureau demands over 100,000 Acre Feet of Klamath Irrigation Water Ken Lite, Oregon Water Resource Department, said regarding Sabo's statement to TID,  "Using our study for leverage doesn't make sense." They are two totally different issues. Story by KBC, content approved by TID manager 2/18/05

Feds renew call to idle Basin land, H&N 2/14/05. For more on dewatering our farmland, go HERE.

Bureau prepares to pick its idlers, H&N 2/2/05. A BLACK DAY IN THE KLAMATH BASIN---(a mandatory waterbank regardless of the National Resource Counsel saying that lake-level/river-flow management is not scientifically sound. Despite the fact that coho were declared in court illegally listed. Despite the fact that the Hardy studies, which formed our biological opinion, are proven flawed, taken from the highest water year in recorded history, and were hired by the Dept of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs to go against the farmers in adjudication. This year is a mandatory downsizing Klamath agriculture by 100,000 acre feet of water for a law proven flawed by peer review. KBC)

Water bank applications flood Bureau, H&N 1/31/05. (This mandatory 100,000 Acre Feet waterbank is disregarding the National Resource Council's peer-reviewed conclusion that river-flow/lake-level management is not scientifically justified, and disregarding the historical fact that the Link River used to go dry before the Project was built. They did not use the 'best available' science in 2001, and they refuse to use it in 2005. KBC)

Bureau hopes last-minute surge will fill water bank, H&N 1/26/05. Commentary by Barb Hall, Klamath Bucket Brigade, adds this quote: "A consulting hydrologist, Mark Van Camp of Sacramento, told  water users an analysis of the draft BuRec historic water flow study shows that downstream flows have increased 30 percent over discharges before settlement. That’s apparently because the irrigated land uses less water than evaporation loss from the thousands of acres of wetlands that existed before the shallow lakebeds were diked, drained and put to the plow."

Bureau goes afield for water bank, H&N 1/21/05. "In all, the Bureau needs about 28,000 acres of land signed up for idling to create 50,000 acre-feet of its 100,000 acre-foot water bank. The water bank is a federally required program designed to boost flows on the Klamath River for threatened Coho salmon." {Read the other articles on KBC...Coho Improperly Listed. Artificially elevated river flows--higher than before the Klamath Project was built--do not help fish according the the National Research Council, and on and on.  Why are they downsizing our community? KBC}

Trickling interest in water bank, H&N 1/19/05. "We were expecting between 450 and 500  and so far we got 20," said Rae Olsen, Bureau spokeswoman."  (...that is, 450-500 bids to idle farmland.  The Bureau of Reclamation is mandating 100,000 acre feet of farm water taken from farmers by land idling or aquifer depleting regardless of water year type.
(* The National Research Council said lake-level/river-flow management was unjustified.
* The latest lawsuit  said that the coho were illegally listed. 
* Dr. Hardy, hired by the Dept of Justice and Bureau of Indian affairs, created a non-peer-reviewed biological opinion based on the highest recorded flows to shut down the Klamath Project. The science that the Bureau of Reclamation and National Marine Fishery Service choose to mandate is the non-peer reviewed agenda-driven Hardy 'opinion'. 
*Our aquifer, according to Oregon Water Resources is being depleted because of this unjustified mandate....KBC)

Water agency seeks drought declaration, Redding Record Searchlight 1/12/04. "About 100,000 acre-feet of water -- almost one-third of the farmers' annual allocations -- must be reserved for coho salmon downstream. "  


Bureau asks for drought declaration   H&N 1/5/05. "They face a thin snowpack in the Cascades and a demand to set aside 100,000 acre-feet of water for coho salmon downstream of the Klamath Reclamation Project. So they want Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski to give them the OK to increase groundwater pumping to provide irrigation water that would offset the demand for in-stream water." (This could take more than 100,000 Acre Feet of water from Klamath Irrigators. The National Academy of Science said that lake-level/river-flow management is unjustified. The Bureau has not reconsulted on a biological opinion that was not peer reviewed--Dr Hardy was hired by the Dept of Justice and Bureau of Indian Affairs to go against the farmers in the water adjudication and to form a biological opinion to shut down Project Irrigation. THAT is what they are basing this water theft on. Go to "water bank" page...the mandatory water theft is depleting our aquifer 5' per year according to Ned Gates and the Oregon Water Resources Dept.
  Last year with a mandatory 75,000 AF water bank, MORE THAN 75,000 AF was taken, PLUS 13,000 AF 'tribal trust' water. KBC)

Klamath Watershed in Perspective is a review of historical hydrology of major features of the Klamath River Watershed and evaluation of Hardy Iron Gate Flow requirements. By Dr. K.A. Rykbost, Superintendent, Klamath Experiment Station, Oregon State University, and R. Todd, Klamath County Extension Office, Oregon State University. HERE for Power Point presentation. 3/25/04. HERE for Dr. Rykbost biography. More on Hardy: Science Page III and X

HISTORY of the Klamath Project Mandatory Water bank

BOR PRESS RELEASE: Reclamation's 2005 Klamath Basin Pilot Water Bank: Call for Applications; Request for Ideas and Proposals

Water bank needs 100,000 acre-feet, H&N 12/29/04

102,817 acre feet more water is in storage than last year, H&N posted to KBC 12/29/04

USGS real-time water data 12/29/04

Program offered to growers Land retirement program meetings to be held in towns around the county H&N 12/29/04

Oregon State University Klamath Experiment Station field day; Klamath aquifer being depleted, river flows historic high, new crops and methods and adjudication discussed KBC News 8/6/04.
"Marbut, OWRD, 'We are in a short term depleting the aquifer."
Sabo, BOR, "We ran a lot of water down the river, and if we'd known how the water situation would shape up, we wouldn't have done that."
Sabo, "They (U S Fish and Wildlife Service) haven't done a recovery plan on suckers since 1994."..."There's plenty of suckers around.  I think if they were looking at the population of suckers today, they wouldn't be listed."

Klamath Basin Water Management by Doug Whitsett, President, Water for Life,Inc. "However, the shortage is not being caused by cattlemen, dairymen, and farmers as they suggest; rather, it is being caused by the management errors of our own government. Let us count the ways that our most precious natural resource continues to be wasted through mismanagement."

Sitting in his living room, Dennis Oden talks about low water tables and its affect on two of his wells that went dry over Memorial Day weekend.

Well worry rising as water table dips, H&N 6/10/04
"To keep flows up for salmon in the Klamath River, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has been paying some irrigators to switch to ground water to help fill the 75,000-acre-foot vault of its "water bank." And, some say the pumping is bring down the water table, leaving some pumps in domestic wells sucking air, not water."


Water bank assets run low, H&N 5/14/04.

PRESS RELEASE: Inflows Dictate Change in Water Year Type, from Bureau of Reclamation posted to KBC 5/10/04. (It is our understanding that a large amount of water was dumped into the river this winter over and above requirements. So now there is, once again, panic to obtain much more than the 75,000 acre feet of water demanded of the Klamath Basin irrigators to hold in the lake to meet the BO's contrived by the proven-flawed Hardy Science. All of the TID wells have been pumping for a week. KBC-jdk).

Lake inflow, groundwater, both falling, H&N 5/6/05, Dan Keppen, KWUA, "Nobody at the local level is going out and promoting groundwater pumping," he said. "We want that Klamath Project surface water."
More water historically evaporated from our lakes than is currently used for agricultural purposes in the Klamath Project. Historically, Link River occasionally went dry.

Tule Lake 1905

And historically, the Tule Lake water you see in this photo was in a closed basin. Before the irrigators built and paid for the Klamath Project, this water  was not  diverted down the Klamath River into the ocean. Now more water is demanded to be diverted down the Klamath River than is produced in our watershed. See Klamath Watershed in Perspective Power Point Presentation. 5/7/04

Mining water in the basin, Mail Tribune 5/5/04. 
KWUA Dan Keppen responds to Mail Tribune editorial 5/5/04. "The artificially high lake and river flow levels supported by the water bank– such as those that contributed to the 2001 curtailment of Upper Klamath Lake irrigation supplies - have been questioned by the National Academy of Sciences."

GAO to scrutinize Klamath water bank, Times-Standard 4/19/04

Times tight for 2004 Klamath water bank, Capital Press 4/1/04 More on  WaterBank, go HERE

Bureau's water bank taking shape, H&N 3/17/04.  "The water bank needs to have 75,000 acre-feet of water in it, and the Bureau has a $4.5 million budget to acquire it." "Next summer, the Bureau will need a water bank of 100,000 acre-feet." Regardless of the National Academy of Science (best available science) report denying lake and river levels help fish.  Regardless of how wet the winter is.  Regardless of the fact that this land was once a lake and it's being diverted down the river. KBC (jdk)

Water bank leads list of irrigator concerns, 2/2/04, H&N. Written by Deb Crisp, executive director of Tulelake Growers Association. "We continue to struggle with a "water bank" that requires an unreasonable 75,000 acre-feet for 2004 and 100,000 acre-feet for 2005. This and numerous other issues are cause for great concern while we work to revive our highly productive agricultural lands and business community."

Bureau looks wider for water bank accounts, H&N posted to KBC 1/19/04

Feds buying more water for Klamath salmon, AP 1/17/04. If the NAS report had said that the stored Klamath irrigation had caused fish to die, then there would have been reconsultation in an instant to try to shut down Klamath irrigation. However the NAS report said that the Klamath Project water shutoff in 2001 was unjustified, and artificially-elevated lake levels and flows do not help fish. So what is the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) doing? Reconsultation? No way. They are taking 75,000 acre feet of our aquifer and our stored Project water to send down to the ocean, exceeding historic, before-project flows.  Do we have a choice? Yes, the BOR said our choice is to have the Klamath Project shut down. Locals call it 'blackmail'. Glen Spain of PCFFA thinks buying farmland, dewatering our land which was a 20 - 40 foot deep lake with over 430 species of wildlife, is a solution. KBC (jdk)

PRESS RELEASE: Reclamation announces its 2004 Klamath Basin Pilot water bank program. 1/16/04 "The Bureau of Reclamation is soliciting bids for the 2004 Pilot Water Bank. The Water Bank’s purpose is to comply with the 2002 NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion on Klamath Project Operations. In 2004, the Biological Opinion calls for a water bank of 75,000 acre-feet."

2004 water bank blackmail, ESA double standard, and TID targeted again, KBC (jdk),  December 9, 2003




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