Reclamation Expands Opportunities to Participate in Klamath Basin 2005 Pilot Water Bank Programs

Media Contact: Rae Olsen, 541-880-2543

For Release: February 11, 2005

The Bureau of Reclamation's Klamath Basin Area Office has announced opportunities to participate in the 2005 Pilot Water Bank programs. The water bank is required by a 2002 NOAA Fisheries Biological Opinion on Klamath Project Operations and is used to augment Klamath River flows to benefit threatened coho salmon. The water bank consists of several programs, including on- and off-Project storage, groundwater pumping, groundwater substitution, and dryland operation. Opportunities to participate include: (1) call for applications in the implementation of the Groundwater Pumping and/or the Groundwater Substitution Program, (2) second call for Dryland Operation Applications, and (3) an opportunity to revise previously submitted Dryland Operation bids.

Currently, Reclamation is accepting applications for the Groundwater Pumping and/or the Groundwater Substitution Program for the water bank. Individuals, groups, partnerships, and companies may apply to supply water via groundwater pumping or groundwater substitution (to irrigate their lands using their own well) during the 2005 irrigation season in exchange for payment.

Selection of the contractor will be based not only on cost considerations, but on the ability of a well to deliver water to the Project without interfering with other wells or surface water supplies or intercepting water that will eventually reach a surface water source, as determined by the Oregon or California groundwater resources authorities.

Reclamation is also accepting second call applications for the Dryland Operation Program for the water bank. Applications are being accepted from individuals, groups, partnerships, and companies willing to forego irrigation of their lands during the 2005 irrigation season in exchange for a payment.

In addition, Reclamation is accepting revised bids to previously submitted applications for the Dryland Operation Program for the water bank.

Eligibility for all the programs is limited to field units that have been irrigated in the recent past. Field units must have been irrigated with surface water in both 2003 and 2004, with one exception: for any year in which the field units were not irrigated with surface water, they must have been included in the Water Bank (Forbearance/Dryland Operation or Groundwater Program) to be eligible. Only complete field units of at least 20 contiguous acres are eligible.

Participation is open to all users of surface water above Keno Dam on the Klamath River and below Harpold Dam on the Lost River, including non-Project users. However, federal lease lands and lands under temporary surplus water contracts ("C lands") are not eligible. Because of extremely dry conditions on the east side and lack of inflows to Clear Lake and Gerber Reservoirs, little or no water is expected to be available below Harpold Dam and therefore cannot augment Klamath River flows.

Completed applications and all documentation must be received by close of business on Thursday, February 24, 2005, and sent to Mr. Phil Graf, Klamath Basin Area Office, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603. For additional information or program details, prospective applicants are encouraged to contact Mr. Graf at 541-883-6935 or at

A sample contract and the instructions and application forms for the Groundwater Pumping and/or Groundwater Substitution Programs, Dryland Operation Program, and/or Revised Dryland Operation bids are available at; click on "2005 Pilot Water Bank."

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Relevant Link:

Reclamation's Klamath Basin Area Office - 2005 Pilot Water Bank Programs