Farmers & Ranchers
The following is a partial list of advocacy KWUA has taken to protect and enhance the Project’s water supply in 2015:
· KWUA worked directly with the Reclamation and others ad successfully opposed late season Klamath River Flow Augmentation that might occur at the expense of Klamath Project supplies - KWUA provided multiple sets of formal comments (in several different venues) to Reclamation.
· KWUA intervened, funded and successfully opposed multi-year litigation from the Oregon Natural Resource Council Action (Oregon Wild) that sought to stop inter-basin water movement and would have drastically changed and increased costs in the operation of the Straits Drain and the Klamath Project. This historic and positive precedent- setting legal battle ended this year. All districts who receive water from the Klamath system will benefit from this outcome.
· KWUA facilitated weekly meetings with our membership, Reclamation, and others, resulting in increased cooperation and coordination amongst districts and federal and state agencies, benefiting Klamath Project irrigators.
· KWUA drafted legislation that would entitle Klamath Project irrigators to receive “applicant status” for ESA Consultations. KWUA worked with our Congressional delegation to successfully include this language in the House version of the California Drought bill. Should that legislation become law later this year (2016) it would give irrigators a formal “seat at the table” with agencies and tribes.
· KWUA filed formal comments to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service opposing efforts to make it significantly easier for the agency to list species as threatened or endangered.
· KWUA provided comments supporting the position of member districts on the Final Draft Klamath Comprehensive Agricultural Power Plan to the Bureau of Reclamation.
· KWUA advocated for, testified for, and otherwise significantly contributed to the passage of SB 206A, which provides for appreciably improved Operational Flexibility, including the ability for water transfers and leases for landowners and districts in the Klamath Project.
· KWUA provided a letter and some much needed perspective to the Secretary of the Interior expressing the viewpoint of member districts regarding allegations made against Reclamation in a “whistleblower” complaint filed by a union group known as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.
· KWUA has been actively engaged with the Department of the Interior, Reclamation and others regarding the need for Emergency Extraordinary Operation and Maintenance (EEOM) designation for KID’s C-Flume Repairs, working to save KID patrons and other districts millions of dollars.
· KWUA has drafted and lobbied for a package of amendments to the U.S. Senate Energy bill that would benefit Klamath Project and off-Project irrigators, including power rate relief, C-Flume EEOM designation, authorization for water marketing authorization and other benefits.
· KWUA successfully engaged with the Pacific Connector gas pipeline to address and mitigate the concerns of member districts, and; created a forum for individual districts to address and mitigate their unique concerns.
· KWUA continues to vigorously defend the Klamath Project’s senior water right against legal and political attacks.