VALE OREGON IRRIGATION DISTRICT
|521 A Street West
Vale, OR 97918
Annual Water Users Report
February 18, 2014
● Water Outlook. Snotel data reports within the Malheur Basin indicate there is 65% of average in snow water equivalency in the following individual locations: Lake Creek (Logan Valley– the drainage into Warmsprings) has 22 inches of snow with 6.2 inches of water content; Blue Mountain Springs (Summit Prairie – the drainage into both Beulah and Warmsprings) has 37 inches of snow with 10.9 inches of water content; Rock Springs (Warmsprings drainage) has 9 inches of snow with 2.0 inches of water content. The total storage capacity in all three reservoirs is 252,527 acre feet and currently the storage levels are at 53,895 acre feet or nearly 22% of capacity. Individual reservoir storage levels are Beulah 20,090 a.f.; Warmsprings 24,838 a.f.; and Bullycreek 8,967 a.f. For those who have internet access, the following sites will provide current reservoir storage information and snow data reports:
www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/realtime.html follow the links to obtain reservoir storage information.
www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snow follow the links to obtain snow data reports.
● Budget. The Board of Directors recently approved the 2014 budget. The operation and maintenance (O&M) fee will be $90.00 per account and $37.90 per acre, same as in 2013. The money collected on the O&M assessments is used to operate the district. The construction charges will be $2.32 per acre, down from last year as one of our contracts paid out. The money collected for the construction charges are used to meet the annual payments to the Bureau of Reclamation on the outstanding contracts for the construction of the project.
In keeping with prior year billing policy, the O&M fee and one half of the construction charge will be due on or before April 10th. The second half of the construction charge will also be billed at the same time, but will not be due until December 10th. This is to aid those water users
who like to pay their entire account at the first billing period. If payment is not received by the due dates, the account will become delinquent and subject to an interest penalty of 12% per annum.
● Reclamation Reform Act (RRA). The RRA and implementing regulations place limitations on the amount of owned and/or leased lands that may be irrigated with water from Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) projects. The RRA law requires every individual or entity that owns and/or leases over 240 acres of irrigation land within Reclamation projects, to annually report their landholdings and other information on Reclamation certification forms. A landholding in one district added to a land holding in another district may total more than 240 acres and would require the filing of RRA forms. Forms requirements apply to individuals; married couples and their dependents; legal entities such as partnerships, corporations, trusts, lending institutions; joint tenancies, tenancies-in-common, etc; religious and charitable organizations and governmental agencies. Those who meet this acreage limitation must complete RRA forms before the district is permitted by federal law to deliver water to the farm. If ownership has changed from last year, such as the establishment of a trust or estate, please contact the office for further instructions. It is imperative that these forms are completed correctly, to avoid any penalties which the Bureau may assess during their audit of district records. Additional information can be found at the BOR website: www.usbr.gov/rra.
● Five Years Non-Use. Whenever land within the legal boundaries of an irrigation district is no longer irrigated or capable of being irrigated, the district may apply the certificated water to which such land is entitled, to other irrigable lands within the legal boundaries of the district. For example, if a water user has not made beneficial
use of the water to which the user is entitled for a period of four successive years, the district shall advise the user and/or security holder that if the user does not use the water for a fifth successive year, the district may petition the Water Resources Commission for a transfer of the water right under ORS 540.574.
● Project Improvements. Approximately 421,344 feet, or nearly 80 miles of pipe have been buried since 1991. This has resulted in a substantial water savings and more projects are planned for this fall. The Board is committed to continue to upgrade the project by implementing water conservation measures.
● Ditchriders And Crew. Our current ditchriders are: Ride 1 – Bryan Schwabauer; Ride 2 – Alan Dixon; Ride 3 – Brady Wolfe; Ride 4 – Jack Falls. If you have any questions about your ride, feel free to call the office. The crew includes: Mike Barlow, Danny Giacomo, Paul Lacey, John McNeil, Dan Skerjanec, Paul Zinie and Ty King is the assistant manager.
● Office Hours And Contact Information. Current office hours are 7:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday thru Thursday and 8:00 am – 12:00 pm on Friday; closed from 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm for lunch. As of April 1, 2014, the office will be open from 8:00 am – 4:30 pm Monday thru Friday and closed from 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm for lunch. Our telephone number is 541-473-3243, if no one is available to take your call, please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible. Our e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org and the website address is valeid.com, where you can find district information and useful links.
● Weed Burning Crew. The District maintenance and weed burning crews will soon begin their spring work. As stated in the By-Laws, the District will not be responsible for the damage or loss of gated pipe, equipment or any other material located on District rights-of-ways. Please take time to inspect this area now and remove anything you may have stored there.
● District By-Laws and Policies. The Board recently made the following change to the by-laws & policies in Section 6-S: Water requests shall be made in writing by the water user on a water card form supplied by the District. Main Canal water users should notify the ditch rider by 6 a.m. at least: 48 hours before water is wanted on ride numbers 1 & 2; 72 hours on ride 3; 96 hours on ride 4 and Willowcreek; and 24 hours on Bully Creek.
Also, the following change was made to Section 6-W: All water users who purchase or supply pipe for irrigation systems within the rights of way of the District shall use pipe designed with 80% of the pipe rating or less. All pipe installed shall be rated 100 lbs. p.s.i. or greater. Attached to this newsletter is a copy of the district’s recently revised by-laws and policies. Please review it carefully.
If you have any questions or suggestions about District matters, please contact the office or one of the Directors listed below.
Dan Fulwyler – Manager
Barbara Kuhlman – Secretary
Board of Directors
Perry Seide Director, Division 1 541-358-2982
Jerry Baker Director, Division 2 541-473-2679
Gary Westcott Vice Chair, Division 3 541-473-3177
Warren Chamberlain Chairman, Division 4 541-473-2977
Corey Maag Director, Division 5 541-473-4004