|KWUA "Weekly Update"
for March 12, 2004
Klamath Water Users Association "Weekly Update"
* KWUA Participates in Trinity River Discussion in Sacramento
* Water Users, CDFG Director Address Sacramento Valley Irrigators Meeting
* Portland Meeting Scheduled for Klamath Basin Interests to "Restore Harmony"
* Reclamation Responds to KWUA Request for Improved Klamath River Monitoring
If you have any questions about the "Weekly Update", please do not hesitate to contact me.
Klamath Water Users Association
2455 Patterson Street, Suite #3
Klamath Falls, OR 97603
(541) 883-6100 - Fax (541) 883-8893
The Klamath Water
Users Association (KWUA) yesterday in
The first half of
yesterday’s discussion focused on explaining the nature of the
disagreements about the 2000 Trinity River Record of Decision (ROD)
and describing the connection of the ROD to the Central Valley
Project landscape. Additional perspectives were provided by panel
participants regarding the debate over the 2002 fish die-off on the
“Keeping this from becoming an internal discussion between those who know specifics to the exclusion of the audience will form a challenge,” he said.
the panel, and summarized the Trinity River Restoration Program and
the 2000 ROD, concentrating on the complexity of the issues
surrounding the ROD, as well as some of its direct and indirect
consequences. Mount explained that the ROD proposes leaving
The panelists then
weighed in with views about the 2000 ROD, including its failings and
its strong points. Tom Birmingham, general manager of Westlands,
described the intent behind a lawsuit launched by CVP water users
over ROD-related impacts to water and power. Steve Thompson (US Fish
and Wildlife Service California/Nevada manager) and Mike Ryan (US
Bureau of Reclamation) provided the federal position on the ROD.
Mike Orcutt then responded to the
“We cannot simply wish that the watershed will be transformed to conditions that existed 150 years ago,” said Keppen. “This system must be managed as a whole to account for the demands currently placed on it by competing interests. To do that, increased knowledge, improved management, and cohesive community action are needed.”
from the Klamath Water Users Association (KWUA) and the California
Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) on Tuesday addressed an audience
of over one hundred irrigators at the joint annual meeting of the
Western Canal Water District and Richvale Irrigation District, held
in the community of Richvale, just south of
Keppen outlined the
events of the past 2-½ years, starting with the April 2001 decision
by the federal government to curtail
“We’re going to focus on reducing landowner-fish conflicts through incremental development of projects,” said Broddrick. “We will, however, be challenged by budget constraints.”
The Property and
Environment Research Center (PERC) is hosting a work session in
PERC entered this
debate with a publication entitled “Restoring Harmony in the
“This paper placed the debate in the context of the property rights paradigm, identified existing rights holders, and suggested how clarification of water rights could reduce acrimony between the various parties,” said Terry Anderson, PERC Executive Director.
a paradigm cannot exist until the water rights certification process
if completed, which may not occur for ten years or more,” he said.
Responds to KWUA Request for Improved
The U.S. Bureau of
Reclamation recently responded to a letter prepared by the Klamath
Water Users Association (KWUA) late last summer that outlined the
association’s recommendations for addressing the types of problems
that arose in the fall of 2002 on the
· Creation of a Central Monitoring System to assess water quality and flow parameters to alert of potential conditions that might lead to fish die-offs in the Klamath-Trinity system.
· Improved coordination between Klamath Project and Central Valley Project Trinity River export operations to meet potential emergency needs.
· Pulse flow management that is driven by sound science and collaboration.
· Improved hatchery management.
Reclamation Regional Director Kirk Rodgers responded to the KWUA letter, noting that the recovery and delisting of imperiled fish species are of “utmost concern” to the Department of Interior.
developed recommendations regarding data collection and assessment
that the association believes should be implemented immediately.
were developed in the following areas:
water quality monitoring
pool water quality monitoring
of potential fish migration barriers
of fish health data
of salmon run size and timing
of river flow information
“We believe that
sound science, and not divisive politics, should drive management
decisions on the