Tulelake, CA - (January 23, 2023) – Tulelake Irrigation District (TID or the District) is seeking federal funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program, Public Law 83-566 (PL 83-566). This funding would be invested to modernize irrigation, drainage, conveyance, and control infrastructure utilized or operated by TID to manage water.
The proposed project is regionally significant as agriculture is an essential part of the Upper Klamath Basin’s economy. Agricultural production in the District depends on the District’s ability to deliver water effectively and efficiently, particularly during drought years when surface water allocation is scarce. Modernizing TID infrastructure would allow the District to have an accurate, and much needed, understanding of the timing and volume of water flowing throughout the District and optimize water deliveries. TID is considering the following actions to address the purpose and need: SCADA, piping, canal lining, upgrading pumps, and water level control structure design and replacement.
The project is sponsored by Tulelake Irrigation District, with funding and technical support from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California. Farmers Conservation Alliance is assisting with the planning process as a contractor.
Members of the public were invited to provide input to help guide planning efforts during a scoping meeting:
February 8, 2023 at 1 p.m.
UC Davis Intermountain Research and Extension Center
2816 Havlina Rd
Tulelake, CA 96134
Participants had an opportunity to learn more about the proposed infrastructure improvements and submit their comments, ideas, and concerns. The presentation slides are at the bottom of this page.
Public comments may be submitted from January 23, 2023, through March 8, 2023. Comments may be submitted the following ways:
Following the public scoping period, project partners will develop a Draft Watershed Plan - Environmental Assessment. The public will have an opportunity to review the draft plan and provide additional input.
Once complete, the watershed plan will enable the District to apply for funding to construct infrastructure improvements through NRCS’ Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program, authorized by Public Law 83-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations (project sponsors) for planning and carrying out watershed projects for the purpose of watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement.
For more information about this and other irrigation modernization projects in Oregon visit the NRCS California public notice webpage.
For further information please contact:
Farmers Conservation Alliance
Farmers Conservation Alliance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which, as a contractor, is assisting NRCS and the sponsors in the Watershed Plan - Environmental Assessment process.
Please note: Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.
Further information on the public involvement process can be found at the Council of Environmental Quality's Citizens Guide to NEPA.
Tulelake Irrigation District is the most southern irrigation district of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Klamath Project, which was authorized by the Secretary of the Interior in 1906. The District spans an area of 96,000 acres and serves 63,000 acres of irrigated land through 243 miles of canals and pipelines.
In recent years, the Klamath Project has faced severe droughts that have limited, and in the worst cases, halted water supply to irrigators. Water shortages are exacerbated due to the aging state of the District’s conveyance system, which inefficiently delivers the available water. A large amount of the District’s water supply is return flow from other Klamath Project water users resulting in management challenges such as having minimal water to manage in the morning and excess water to manage in the evening.
The District’s current open channel conveyance system does not provide the District information on the volume of water moving through its system. This makes it difficult to manage fluctuating flows while delivering the correct amount of water to patrons at the correct time. Additionally, excessive operation and maintenance costs associated with the District’s pumping plants and excessive maintenance costs associated with managing open canals and laterals prevent the District from investing in modernization efforts that could greatly increase the efficiency of water delivery throughout the District.
There is a need for improving water conveyance efficiency and operation of District infrastructure to deliver water more reliably. Modernizing the conveyance infrastructure enables opportunities to benefit the local agricultural community by improving drought resilience and reducing inefficiencies associated with the conveyance system.
Learn more about the proposed project in the documents below. Learn more about Tulelake Irrigation District at tulelakeid.com.