KLAMATH IRRIGATION DISTRICT
WATER MANAGEMENT AND DELIVERY
RULES AND REGULATIONS
A. The Klamath Irrigation District (“KID”) is organized and operates pursuant to ORS Chapter 545. ORS 545.221 provides that KID’s Board of Directors shall:
“(c) Establish equitable bylaws, rules and regulations for the administration
of the district and for the distribution and use of water among the landowners.”
ORS 540.270 provides in part:
“Distribution of water from irrigation systems or works shall be under
the exclusive control of the irrigation districts * * * unless the water
master has been requested by the district to distribute the water.”
ORS 540.710 provides in part:
“No person shall willfully open, close, change, or interfere with any
lawfully established head gate or water box without authority or
willfully use water or conduct water into or through a ditch of the
person which has been lawfully denied the person by the water
master or other competent authority. The possession or use of
water when the same shall have been lawfully denied by the
water master or other competent authority shall be prima facie
evidence of the guilt of the person using it.”
ORS 540.720 provides in part:
“ No person shall use without authorization water to which
another person is entitled, or willfully waste water to the
detriment of another. The possession or use of such water
without legal right shall be prima facie evidence of the guilt
of the person using it.”
B. On March 7, 2013, the Oregon Department of Water Resources filed in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon its Findings of Fact and Order of Determination in the matter of the Adjudication of the Waters of the Klamath River (“Order”). The Order confirmed that KID and its water users hold the right to use water from Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River for the irrigation of the land in KID and land owned by the Warren Act contractors served by KID. The Order found that different water users have different water rights. For example, Van Brimmer Ditch Company holds a right to receive 50 cubic feet of water per second from April 15 to October 15 of each year to irrigate the land in Van Brimmer. Van Brimmer’s right has priority over all of the other land served by KID. KID holds a water right to irrigate approximately 1790 acres of land that were served by the Henley-Ankeny canal, also with a priority date prior to all the other land in KID and served by KID, except Van Brimmer.
C. The water rights confirmed by the Order are limited to the use of no more that 3.5 acre feet of water per year on each acre irrigated. The water must be used only for irrigation, in compliance with the description of the rights in the Order, and in “a beneficial manner and without waste” or the County Watermaster can reduce or terminate the diversion and delivery of water by the District.
D. The Order confirmed to the United States the right to store water in Upper Klamath Lake for the irrigation of land in the Klamath Reclamation Project, including KID and the contractors served by KID. However, the requirements that the United States store and manage that water in compliance with the Endangered Species Act remains. As a result of the use of the waters of the Klamath River and its tributaries by the United States for the provision of habitat for endangered and threatened species, as designated under the rules and regulations of the Endangered Species Act, there may be from time to time an inadequate supply of water available for KID to divert and deliver from Upper Klamath Lake and the Klamath River during the irrigation season.
E. Historically, KID has delivered water to its water users as requested by the water users. However, the requirements of Oregon’s water law that the available irrigation water be managed and used in compliance with the Order and the law, combined with the potential impacts on water supply resulting from the Endangered Species Act, require that KID manage the delivery of water to its members and the contractors served by it in a responsible manner. Therefore, the Board of Directors of KID, acting pursuant to the authority granted to it by the law, has adopted the following rules and regulations for the diversion, delivery and use of the irrigation water under control of KID.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
1. These rules and regulations are established pursuant to ORS 545. 221 to provide for the orderly, efficient, and equitable distribution, use and conservation of the available surface water resources. KID will endeavor to deliver irrigation water in a timely manner, consistent with the terms of the applicable water rights, the physical and operational limits of the delivery system facilities, and the availability of water for diversion from the Klamath River and its tributaries.
2. The irrigation water delivered by KID is appurtenant to the land shown on the maps approved by the Order. Each landowner holds a legal interest in the water appurtenant to his or her land, and is solely responsible for the use of the water appurtenant to his or her land. The landowner may provide written notice to KID providing that KID may only accept water orders from the landowner. If there is no such notice, then anyone ordering water on or off, or managing water delivered to a specific parcel of land, is deemed to be the authorized agent of the landowner. As used in these rules the word “landowner” includes the owner of the land to which water is delivered, the owner’s employees, contractors, tenants, and all other people in possession of the land or applying water to the land. Compliance with each of the following rules shall be a condition precedent to the delivery of water to any landowner Each landowner who orders and/or uses water delivered by KID during the irrigation season shall be deemed to have acknowledged and accepted these rules and regulations. If any landowner fails to comply with any of these rules or regulations or any part thereof, the landowner shall be subject to assessment of fines, penalties, and charges, and water deliveries to the landowner may be suspended until the fines, penalties, and charges have been paid in full to KID. Further, if a landowner violates the same or another rule (a second violation), water deliveries to that landowner may be suspended for the remainder of the irrigation season.
3. The operation and maintenance of the canals and the works of KID shall be under the management of KID’s Manager. Only persons authorized by the Manager may operate any part of KID’s irrigation facilities. No other persons shall have any right to operate or interfere with said system in any manner.
4. KID’s Manager, Assistant Manager, Maintenance Supervisor, Watermaster, and their specifically authorized representatives or agents including the ditchriders, shall have free access at all times, including weekends and holidays, to enter any land irrigated with water delivered KID for any of the following purposes:
a. Inspecting KID’s facilities or private irrigation facilities, the flow of water within the facilities, including measurement, and the use of water on the land;
b. Determining the acreage of crops irrigated or to be irrigated; and
c. Maintaining or operating KID’s facilities.
5. KID’s employees have the sole right and responsibility to open the head gates, side gates, or other regulating structures within the canals and laterals operated and maintained by KID, and they have the exclusive responsibility to close such gates and structures. KID may install and use locks on any such gates or structures and/or, through other means, seal or remove any gate or structure as the employee deems appropriate to control the flow and use of irrigation water through KID’s system.
6. Any change, use, alteration, or other interference with any portion of KID’s facilities and delivery system including, but not limited to, head gates and other control structures, is strictly prohibited. No other person shall be permitted to do any of the following:
a. Place or remove a weir board in any weir or drop;
b. Open or close any head gate or other water control structure;
c. Remove any chain, lock, board, post, or gate from any control structure; and
d. Attach or place any boards, dams, chains, ropes, or any other objects to, on, or upon any KID canals, laterals, drains, or other conduits or KID-operated structure.
7. In time of short water supply due to over demand on certain sections of the delivery system or other causes, water delivery will be based upon a rotational use system among water users. The Manager and Assistant Manager shall have direct supervisory responsibility for organizing and implementing a system of apportioning water. Water users may appeal decisions of the Manager and Assistant Manager to a hearing before the Board of Directors.
KID’s ditch riders and other staff will endeavor to give advanced notice, personally or through other means, to the landowners of the dates and times that water will be available to them through KID’s system. Said notice will specify, to the extent KID is reasonably able to do so, the date and time their rotation will start. Any landowner not taking water when his turn arrives may forfeit his right during the rotation.
8. Water delivered during a 24 hour period or rotation to a landowner must be used continuously by the landowner throughout the period of delivery. If water is wasted or inefficiently or improperly used, the Manager may refuse further delivery of water until the cause of the waste, inefficiency, or improper use is removed. KID shall have no duty to extend the time period for which water will be available to such a landowner during that rotation. KID will endeavor to deliver a sufficient flow of water for a period of time that is adequate to sufficiently irrigate land entitled to receive water during each rotation.
9. Each landowner shall have the following responsibilities:
a. All landowners must order water deliveries the day before use and order deliveries off the day before ceasing use. All orders must be confirmed by your respective Ditchrider.
b. When water is made available to a landowner by KID, the landowner must have a responsible person present, and the land to be irrigated must be properly prepared to efficiently take the water;
c. From the time delivery of water is commenced to the completion of irrigation, the landowner shall, day and night, attend and control the water;
d. When water is delivered to the landowner, the landowner shall be responsible for the water at all times after it leaves KID’s delivery point;
e. The landowner is responsible and liable for any damage caused by the landowner’s negligence or careless use of the water or as a result of the failure of the landowner to properly operate and maintain any facility for which the landowner is responsible;
f. All water must be applied by the landowner efficiently and used in a reasonable and beneficial manner;
g. Any landowner who wastes water by flooding or sprinkling roads, vacant lands, or land previously irrigated, or who wastes water in any other way, either willfully, carelessly, or on account of defective or inadequate canals or other conduits or facilities or inadequately prepared land, or who floods a portion of land to an unreasonable depth or amount in order to properly irrigate other portions may be refused water from KID until such conditions are remedied; and
h. The landowner shall only apply water furnished by KID to land included on the maps of irrigated land approved by the Order, or subject to a written temporary transfer order issued by KID’s manager, to other land approved by KID. The landowner shall not apply any water furnished by KID to land that is subject to a Klamath Water and Power Agency ground water or land idling contract, or other similar agreement. Any spreading of water by a landowner and application of water to non-approved land shall result in the termination of deliveries to that landowner, the assessment of a fine or charges as described below, and if such act is repeated, will result in the termination of any further deliveries of water during the irrigation season.
i. Each land-owner is responsible and accountable for the application of water to the various parcels of land irrigated by the land owner. Each Land-owner is required to accurately document their own water use including their orders, diversion point (structure #), diversion rate, days (24 hr. periods) and total acre feet used for each of their irrigations on a daily basis. KID’s water tracking system totals the amount of water allocated to all of the land owned by the landowner, and charges the amount of water used by the landowner against the total allocation without regard to which parcel of land owned by the landowner was actually irrigated. If water is ordered and applied to a parcel of land that either has exhausted its allocation or did not receive any allocation, the land-owner is deemed to have elected to use a portion of the total amount of water allocated to the landowner for irrigation of that parcel and the water used will be deducted from the total amount of water allocated to the landowner.
10. KID will make reasonable efforts to keep its landowners informed. KID may post notices on its website at www.klamathirrigation.com or on KID’s section of the Klamath Water Users webpage at www.kwua.org or may provide notice by personal contact from KID employees to the landowner, by posting of information at KID’s office and other locations where public notice may reasonably be available to water users, by mail, or other forms of communication. However, each water user is responsible for making an effort to keep himself or herself informed by accessing the locations of KID communications described above.
11. Any person who uses KID water without KID’s permission may be subject to criminal prosecution and civil liability. Water must be ordered ON and OFF through a Ditchrider. Penalties for not ordering water on and off are: The first time a person uses water in violation of these rules, KID shall charge the water user a $50 fine and notify the land owner. A second violation of these rules will result in a $100 fine to the water user and the land owner will be notified. Subsequent use of water in violation of these rules shall result in a $100 fine per violation. KID Ditchriders will keep a log of violations which will be compiled and documented by the District. At the end of the irrigation season KID will send the landowner a bill for the total of all violations.
12. Unauthorized use of water: defined as a water user applying water to their lands when that use of water has not been authorized by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and KID. Any land owner using water delivered through the KID delivery system without authorization will be provided 24 hour notice to terminate use by tagging the delivery structure. Headgates and or pumps will be shut off and locked if possible. Landowners will be notified of the action by mail and the BOR will also be notified. The District may require District and BOR approved and permitted control and measuring devices prior to any future water deliveries.
13. Failure or refusal of any landowner to comply with these rules is deemed sufficient grounds for terminating delivery of KID water to the lands of such landowner. KID’s Manager, Assistant Manager, and their designated agents are authorized to issue a notice and order to any landowner or if the Manager or Assistant Manager determines the landowner is in violation of any rule or regulation. An oral or written warning may be issued in lieu of a notice and order. The notice and order shall contain a brief description of the alleged violation, a statement of the action to be taken by the landowner , the amount of the additional charge to the landowner, and that a written appeal to the board of directors may be filed at KID’s office within ten calendar days of the date of service of such notice or order, or the person is deemed to have waived all rights to a hearing on the matter. KID’s Manager and Assistant Manager are authorized to immediately terminate the delivery of water to a parcel if the landowner or fails to immediately cease and desist from violation of these rules after receipt of a warning or KID notice and order. In the event delivery of irrigation water is terminated, KID’s employees are authorized to lock down the head gate or other delivery structure and to report such violation to the Board at the next Board meeting. Each notice and order shall be served upon the landowner either personally or by regular mail to such landowner at the address indicated in KID’s records. Service by mail shall be effective on the date of mailing. The notice and order become final if a written appeal is not filed within ten calendar days from the date of service. Filing of a notice of appeal shall not stay any act of the Manager or Assistant Manager ordering water deliveries terminated to the landowner or result in the extension of the rotation for that portion of the delivery system. In the event a notice of appeal to the Board is filed, then within 72 hours after receipt of such notice, one Board member, preferably from the representative zone, shall consider the written appeal, may interview the landowner and any KID staff involved in discovering the alleged violation and enforcing the terms of this rule. After making a reasonable investigation, the Board member shall either sustain the notice and order or may reverse or modify the notice and order as the Board member shall determine. The decision of the Board member shall be final.
14. When a person who takes water in violation of these rules applies that water to land in another district, the Manager shall provide a Notice to such District in person or by registered or certified mail. Such district is expected to exercise its statutory right to control the use of water within the district by taking such action as may be necessary to stop the wrongful use of the water by the person. Any failure of a district to take action to remedy the violation will be deemed a violation by that district of its contract with KID which provides that use of water by such district is subordinate to the use of water by members of KID.
15. In the event of repeat violations, the Board may commence a civil action to prevent violations of the rules and may seek such relief as it deems appropriate. The District shall be entitled to recover its costs and attorney fees incurred in such suit and in enforcing these rules, and such costs and fees shall be a charge against the land on which the violation occurred or which received water as a result of the violation.
MANAGE YOUR WATER WISELY
Irrigation water is a valuable and necessary resource for our water users; however, there is not an unlimited supply. Conservation and wise use of irrigation water is imperative.
Klamath Irrigation District’s goal is to deliver irrigation water to water users in a professional manner while maintaining control of our canals and laterals with minimal losses. In order for KID to provide excellent and efficient service to its patrons, we need water user cooperation by ordering water on and off in a timely fashion.
Water orders (on, off or changed) must be placed a day before the date of use and can be handled through the KID office or by your ditch rider. (The links in the left margin of this page will open a ditch rider schedule for the ride selected. In addition, there is a link to a District map which shows the location of the ride areas. These links require Adobe Acrobat to open).
Please call the Ditch rider between 5:00 pm & 7:00 pm to order water ON or OFF for the following day.
Please phone in your water order to KID office staff between 8:00 am - 2:30 pm MON. - FRI. to order water ON or Off for the following day. (541-883-4505)
When placing water orders, please provide the following information: