To The Landowners and Water Users
of the Talent Irrigation District
of the Talent Irrigation District
The laws of the State of Oregon direct that Irrigation Districts shall adopt bylaws and regulations governing the distribution and use of water. Oregon Revised Statutes provides that the Board of Directors shall:
- Manage and conduct the business and affairs of the District.
- Make and execute all necessary contracts, employ and appoint such agents, officers, and employees as may be required, and prescribe their duties.
- Establish equitable bylaws, rules and regulations for the administration of the district and for the distribution and use of water among the landowners.
- Generally perform all acts necessary to fully carry out the purposes of the Irrigation District Law.
The bylaws, rules and regulations established under this section may designate, either generally or particulary, the points of delivery within the district to which the district will make water deliveries for the use and benefit of member users at district expense. Water deliveries so made shall be in full and complete discharge of the district’s obligation of water deliveries to member users under the Irrigation District Law.
The mission of the Talent Irrigation District is to deliver water equitably and efficiently with the least amount of cost to its water users, keeping in mind the need for long- range planning and environmental impact.
It is the intention of the Board of Directors to carry on the business of the District in a business-like, economical, and equitable manner. Because water requirements and facilities for handling water differ greatly with soil conditions and crops grown, there must be general rules to secure the best service to the water users. To this end, every person in the District should feel a personal responsibility in helping to carry out the rules so the water may be transported and used in the most efficient manner.
The adoption of these Rules and Regulations will not essentially change the manner of water distribution from that in practice for several years, but it is hoped they will give every water user and other interested persons in the District a clear understanding of the duties and intentions of the operating officials and bring to the attention of all water users the great need for conserving the District’s water supply.
The District was organized for the purpose of supplying irrigation service for farm crops. Water quality and District facilities are not suitable for domestic use. Water use must be consistent with the character of use authorized by the District’s water rights and general District policies.
The Talent Irrigation District is a quasi- municipality, and every water user within the District boundaries is a member of the District. The District makes no profit and is operated for the sole benefit of the lands and people within its boundaries.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
Governing the Distribution and Use of Water in the Talent Irrigation District
Adopted by the Board of Directors on December 6, 2005
The primary purposes of the District are to manage the water and water rights inside the District for the benefit of all the patrons and to provide a common system of infrastructure for the delivery of irrigation water. Improvements to the District were funded by contracts with the United States Government in the late 1950’s. This subjects the District to the Federal Regulations of the United States Government.
The District holds the water rights of the District in trust for the exclusive use and common benefit of the water users of the District. Any changes in character of use, place of use or point of diversion changes must be applied for through the District and must comply with the established policies of the District. Water users within the District shall not execute an affidavit of non-use or voluntary cancellation of water rights without prior District approval.
All reservoirs, canals, laterals, pipelines and works of the District including structures in or over District canals and laterals are under the general management of the Manager who is appointed by the Board of Directors and under the exclusive control of the District except in those instances where the District has surrendered control of a structure to the United States Bureau of Reclamation or any other federal, state or local governmental agency or body. No person shall have any right to interfere with said canals, laterals or works of the District without express permission from the District Manager and in some instances, the Bureau of Reclamation.
The District Manager is authorized to act in emergencies on matters not covered by these Rules and Regulations; however his actions are subject to the approval of the Board of Directors at the regularly scheduled board meeting next following his actions in such an emergency.
The District Manager, appointed by the Board of Directors, shall have the authority to employ such personnel as may be necessary for the proper operation and maintenance of the system and the distribution of water. Each Ditch Rider shall have charge of their respective division and shall be responsible to the Manager for carrying on the routine of water delivery and other related work.
All District employees are instructed to aid the water user in every manner possible and to courteously and respectfully consider all criticism and suggestions. Likewise, all water users and landholders within the District boundaries are requested to cooperate with District officials in every manner so the District may operate effectively and efficiently.
The office of the Talent Irrigation District at 104 Valley View Avenue, Talent, Oregon, 97540, is open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, or as otherwise determined by the Board of Directors.
During the irrigation season the Ditch Riders may be contacted through the District’s office at (541) 535-1529 during the hours listed above. After hours and on the weekends, there is an answering machine on the office telephone number (541) 535-1529 where water orders can be left. The answering machine is checked regularly on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. If you call the (541) 535-1529 number and the line continues to ring and the answering machine does not pickup, it means that the answering machine is busy and you should hang up and call back in a few minutes. For after-hour’s emergencies the current phone number to call is given on the office answering machine. The emergency answering service will contact the District’s emergency response person if your situation constitutes an emergency. An emergency is a situation where property damage is happening or is imminent, not a lack of water or a water order. The emergency answering service will not contact the emergency response person for a water order or for a lack of water.
The normal irrigation season shall be from April 15th to October 1st of each year. These dates are subject to change in relation to seasonal weather conditions and the available water supply. The Board of Directors may shorten or lengthen the irrigation season within those parameters as established by the District’s water rights or as required by law.
The Manager will apportion water to each division and the division Ditch Rider will apportion water to each water user in their division. The division Ditch Riders will be held responsible for the efficiency of water distribution and for the operation of the laterals and structures in their division.
Water shall be distributed among the water users in the District under a ROTATION SYSTEM. The demand for water shall not be made more frequently than every ten (10) to fourteen (14) days, except under certain conditions where the land owner can demonstrate they are not exceeding a three inch irrigation in a two week period. All water deliveries are subject to the availability of water. Water typically cannot be delivered between regular irrigation rotations. In the event canals or laterals become loaded to capacity, water will be delivered on a “Demand Rotation System”, where orders will be filled according to water order date and length of time from the last irrigation.
SHORTAGE OF WATER
In case of water shortage, all water deliveries will be prorated on the basis of the available water supply, acreage under irrigation and other factors. The District does not reduce water deliveries based on water right priority dates alone. Everyone in the District is treated equally.
Any person who takes water out of turn and without the knowledge and permission of their Ditch Rider will forfeit their right to water at their next regular irrigation. They shall also be subject to the Laws of the State of Oregon concerning unauthorized appropriation of water.
QUANTITY OF WATER
The unit of measure will be cubic feet per second. The maximum amount deliverable will be 2.65 acre-feet per acre, per season, as specified by the Repayment Contract with the United States. Any water delivered above this amount shall be classified as excess water and extra charges will be made. One cubic foot per second flow for a period of twelve (12) hours is equal to one acre-foot of water.
Water must not be wasted. Careless and wasteful use of water will be sufficient grounds for the Ditch Rider to reduce the size of the water delivery amount to what he believes the irrigator can handle economically. If, after reduction of the water delivery amount, the irrigator is still careless and wasteful, the water will be shut off from such user until they prepare to make better use of same, to the satisfaction of the Ditch Rider or Manager.
Every water user shall be responsible for their runoff, and all damages caused by their intentional, negligent or careless acts. Persons wasting water on roads or vacant land either willfully, carelessly, or because of defective ditches, poorly prepared land, poorly maintained sprinkler systems or who flood certain portions of land to an unreasonable depth to properly irrigate other portions, or who use water on land not authorized for irrigation by the Board of Directors, may be refused the use of water until such conditions are remedied.
Those water users who are not already on a District established rotation schedule should notify the District office at least forty- eight (48) hours before the time the water is desired and shall notify the office at least twelve (12) hours before finishing with the water. The District will make every effort to deliver water within twenty-four (24) hours of the time requested, but some delays will occur. The finishing hour should be such as to allow the Ditch Rider to give the water to another user in time for him to set up their irrigation before dark or for the Ditch Rider to place the water back into storage.
No standing orders will be permitted. No orders of more than two days prior to the requested delivery date will be honored, except orders on Friday for Monday. In the case of a shortage of water, water will be delivered to each water user in rotation, based upon the time and date each water order was received by the office and the length of time from the last irrigation.
Water orders shall be called to the District’s office at (541) 535-1529 Monday through Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
DUTIES OF WATER USERS
It shall be the duty of all water users to use the water CONTINUOUSLY NIGHT AND DAY, SUNDAYS, AND HOLIDAYS until that particular irrigation is completed. Water users who turn the water back into the ditch at night or on Sundays or Holidays will be considered to have used the water during such period and the water will be passed on to other users.
No water user shall dump either live or wastewater into the District’s system without providing treatment facilities as required or specified by the District.
If any water user shuts off their water without first giving notice, they shall be liable to the lower users of water for all damages they may sustain by reason of the increased flow of water upon their lands.
NON-LIABILITY OF DISTRICT
The District will not be liable for any damages resulting directly or indirectly from any unauthorized uses, or trespassing on District property or facilities, or from any private ditch or the water flowing therein; and its responsibility shall absolutely cease when the water is turned therein according to these Rules and Regulations.
Water furnished by the District flows through many miles of open canals and is subject to pollution, shortages, fluctuation in flow, and interruption in service. The District will not make any agreement that binds the District to serve an uninterrupted constant supply of water.
All water furnished by the District is normally for irrigation purposes and any water user putting the water to other uses does so at their own risk and by doing so assumes all liability therefore and agrees to hold the District, its officers and employees free and harmless from any liability and damage that may occur.
Storm water (Acts of God) and the damages they may cause, directly or indirectly, are not the responsibility of the District, as the District has no control over these events. Any assistance rendered during “Acts of God” on the District’s part are simply a courtesy to the public and does not suggest or indicate any assumption of future responsibility.
POINT OF DELIVERY
The District assumes no responsibility for the delivery of water beyond the delivery point. This original point of delivery is maintained for each tract even though many subdivisions of the original tract may have been made.
In the case of land served by the Fredericks and Upper West canals from McDonald and Wagner Creek water, the point of delivery to those lands is the point where the water is diverted from the Fredericks or Upper West Canal.
Any owner, developer, or seller of any tract or tracts of land lying within the District and subject to these Rules and Regulations, who is subdividing a tract or tracts of land currently on the District’s charge roll will be held responsible for providing the necessary easements and delivery system from the original point of delivery for said tract to each of the subdivided tracts and notifying the District of these changes prior to delivery. If the developer chooses not to provide irrigation to all the tracts of land, then the water rights must be removed from the property prior to the property being divided, as explained in the District’s water right transfer policy.
PUMPING SYSTEMS / GRAVITY PRESSURE SYSTEMS / GRAVITY SYSTEMS
All landowners using pumps to lift water from the District’s facilities and those using gravity pressure systems or regular gravity systems, will all be subject to these Rules and Regulations in the same manner. The Manager must approve all pump installations and there must be a lockable control gate valve in the delivery line. This requirement will apply to old as well as new installations. All such installations shall be placed in such a manner that no checking (raising the water elevation) of the canal or lateral will be required to deliver water to them.
The Manager may permit those landowners using pump systems, gravity pressure systems or regular gravity systems to use water out of rotation when it is in the best interest of the District and for the conservation of water. No water use out of rotation shall be permitted which shall interfere with other irrigators using water from such lateral or canal having a full supply of water on a rotation basis.
Use of the District’s water is done at the water user’s risk and the District assumes no liability for damages to pumping equipment or other damages as a result of turbulent water, fluctuation in flow, or other causes. The District recommends that water users who irrigate with pumps install an automatic shut off or low pressure valve on the pump. This will help prevent an irrigation pump from burning up if the water supply fluctuates.
CONTROL OF FACILITIES
Only District employees will be allowed to operate headgates, turnouts, valves, or other control devices or to adjust or place flashboards in checks, excepting only as stated hereinbelow. The District, at its option, may lock any or all headgates, turnouts, spillways, or other control devices. Any person who, in any way, interferes with the setting or adjustment of such headgates, turnouts, valves or checks shall be held strictly liable for any damage resulting therefrom and may be subject to fines and imprisonment under Oregon Revised Statutes. The Ditch Rider may, with the consent of the Manager, grant permission under certain conditions to a water user to shut off or turn on water or to adjust checks in order to better regulate water delivery and conserve water.
The District may require a water user to install and maintain a lockable and controllable headgate or other water control device at a point of delivery to the user’s property or to install a measuring device at a point of delivery as necessary to assist the District in determining the amount of water delivered. When practicable, water control and measuring devices will be constructed on property for which the District holds existing easements.
Except when an emergency requires the immediate installation of a water control device to avoid loss of water, the District will notify a water user in writing that the water user is required to install a water control or measuring device. Within 14 days after delivery of the notice, the water user can file a written objection and request a hearing before the District Board of Directors. After the hearing, the District shall affirm, amend or rescind its order to the water user for installation of a water control or measuring device. The decision of the District is final.
If a water user is experiencing a problem that they need help with resolving, they should first contact the District office. The office will then contact the Ditch Rider or appropriate personnel. If the Ditch Rider does not resolve the situation satisfactorily, the water user should contact the District office and ask to speak to the District Manager. In the event the Manager and water user are not able to resolve the issue, at the request of the water user, it will be placed on the Board of Directors next regular meeting agenda for discussion.
PROTECTION OF WATER QUALITY AND DISTRICT FACILITIES
(1) PROTECTION OF WATER QUALITY
All landowners, landholders and water users have an obligation to prevent runoff of any kind from entering District facilities. No person shall put anything into the District’s system, including, but not limited to the following:
Any hazardous substance or substances, tree or vine pruning products, brush, weeds, grass, manure, rubbish, garbage, swill, refuse, dead animal or other material or substance that will or may: (1) become offensive to the senses or injurious to health or injuriously affect the quality of water; (2) obstruct the flow of water; or (3) result in the scattering of seeds or noxious weeds, plants or grasses, shall be placed or dumped in any District canal, ditch, conduit, or reservoir, or be placed or left so as to roll, slide, flow or be washed or blown into any such canal, ditch, conduit or reservoir. Owners of ditches or of land upon which ditches are located shall keep the rights-of- way along the ditches open and free of all obstructions (eg. trees, vegetation, structures). All District employees shall promptly report any violation of this rule, and all District landowners are especially urged to cooperate in its enforcement.
(2) PROTECTION OF DISTRICT FACILITIES
It shall be the duty of every District landowner and/or water user to use due care to avoid damage to the District’s canals, rights-of way, or other facilities. The landowners and/or water users shall be liable for any damage, intentional or negligent, including damage from livestock under their possession or control. If such damages do occur, the District may assess damages against the offending individual or entity.
Any person who, in any way, willfully interferes with the setting or adjustment of headgates, turnouts, valves or checks shall be held strictly liable for any damages resulting therefrom and may be subject to fines and imprisonment under Oregon Revised Statutes.
No one is allowed to build earth dams in private laterals. No new bridges, fences, fence crossings, stock gates, pipes or utility crossings, trees, vegetation, or other obstruction or, facilities either above ground or subterranean, may be introduced or constructed crossing or otherwise blocking or impairing the District’s property or rights- of-way, including canal banks, unless:
- The same shall have been provided for in written rights-of-way, easement or crossing agreements; or
- The party proposing to introduce such has executed a written Right of Use Application with the United States Bureau of Reclamation and paid the applicable fees. Any such construction, planting, etc. is subject to the Bureau of Reclamation and District specifications for construction and maintenance. Such structures, plantings, etc. must be built and maintained to the District and Bureau of Reclamation’s satisfaction. You may obtain the Right of Use Application by contacting the District office. The District shall have the right to remove all trees and vegetation, fences, bridges, stock gates, pipes, utility crossings, or other obstructions, or to fill in ditches constructed contrary to these provisions without liability.
TRESPASS UPON LANDS
The lands upon which the District’s canals and laterals are located, is typically owned by the individual property owner. The District continually receives requests for permission to allow people to walk, hike, ride, etc., on the ditch banks. The District cannot give anyone permission to use the easements on an individual property owner’s property. You must personally contact the land owners for their permission, in addition to acquiring the District’s permission.
ACCESS TO LANDS AND DITCHES
Any officer, employee, ditch rider, or other authorized personnel of the District shall have free access at all times to the private ditches and lands being irrigated, or upon ones which District facilities are located or water flows, for the purpose of determining whether the ditches are in satisfactory condition to handle water and whether the water is being used economically and efficiently and for repair and maintenance or other legitimate District purpose or interest.
STOCK, SPRAY, DUST AND FROST CONTROL WATER
The District has no responsibility for delivering water through its system for stock water, spray purposes, dust control water or frost control water.
PONDS FOR IRRIGATION PURPOSES
Ponds, in some instances, are encouraged by the District. The District requires all water users in the District to fill out a Pond Application and pay the applicable review fee prior to the installation of any pond. Part of the Pond Application process includes the requirement that the water user must also contact the Oregon Water Resources Department prior to filing the application with the District.
Each Pond Application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For the District to approve a Pond Application and to make water deliveries to a pond, the pond must meet the following criteria:
- Involve a usage plan that is clearly an improvement over the existing method of applying water to the property.
- The pond must be properly sealed so that it does not leak.
- The use of the pond must be for irrigation purposes only. A pond used for aesthetics or maintained at full capacity all the time is not considered a beneficial use of the water.
- The District does not have the authority to allow a private pond to store or carryover water from one year to the next. This authority resides with the Oregon Water Resources Department and must be applied for separately to them.
All liability for ponds rests solely with the landowner. To obtain a Pond Application and find out the current fee schedule for filing the application, please contact the District office.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR WATER DELIVERY AND MAINTENANCE FOR PRIVATE DITCHES
The responsibility of the District for the water delivery ends at the District’s point of delivery, measuring weir or headgate. The water then becomes the responsibility of the water user, or users, on that ditch.
This is one of the most common misunderstandings. Many small acreages have received their allotment as a portion of a larger water delivery made to an older farm which has been subdivided. In such cases the user may be some distance from the weir or gate that marks the termination of the District’s responsibility. The users along such private ditches have both a right and a responsibility to work with their neighbors to maintain these private ditches. When problems occur, the District is able to assist the water users to clarify issues or suggest solutions, but the responsibility ultimately lies with the water users along that ditch.
With increasing urbanization, it is important that users have recorded easements for their private ditch deliveries. Often prescriptive rights exist; that is, rights acquired due to continued use over time. However, such rights may not clearly define the right to access, repair and maintain, or the full scope of such easements, such as width of easement or even the actual location of the easement. All easements should specify the actual width. The District requires that all easements be recorded with the County for any land use action, such as a land partition.
Private ditch users are cautioned to protect easements. Be aware of encroachments on your ditch, such as crossings, buildings, trees and vegetation, or fences being constructed too close to the ditch to allow for proper access and maintenance.
PRIVATE LATERAL AND STREAM DIVERSIONS
All water gates on private ditches shall be subject to District access and inspection when used by more than one water user. Nevertheless, the District will not construct, maintain, or control private delivery systems.
Privately maintained laterals and other facilities served by the District must be in good condition so as to prevent loss of water and permit regular flow. The Manager shall not permit delivery of water into facilities that are not adequately prepared and maintained. The District will not be responsible for defects in privately maintained facilities. The owners of private ditches shall provide suitable locking devices on all private gates and checks with the District having access.
When more than one water user is on a private lateral, each water user shall provide their own diversion facilities at their high point and provide their own distribution system. Water users must not build earth dams in private laterals.
It shall be the duty of each user of a private lateral to patrol said lateral from their point of diversion to the main lateral as many times each day as necessary to remove obstructions and stop all leakage while irrigating.
Water users shall not turn water down a private lateral without first making satisfactory arrangements with the water users next in rotation to receive the water. The last one on the private lateral should notify the District’s office when all water users on the private lateral have completed their irrigation so the Ditch Rider can turn the water back to the main canal.
Oregon Revised Statutes state, “In all cases where ditches are owned by two or more persons and one or more of such persons fails or neglects to do a proportionate share of the work necessary for the proper maintenance and operation of the ditch, or to construct suitable headgates or measuring devices at the points where water is diverted from the main ditch, the owner desiring the performance of such work may, after having given 10 days’ written notice to the other owner who has failed to perform a proportionate share of the work, perform such share, and recover therefore from the person in default the reasonable expense of the work”.
Water users that lift or divert the District’s water supply from natural stream courses or depressions, do so at their own risk. The District accepts no liability for damages to irrigation equipment, stream or creek relocation, maintenance or Endangered Species Act issues on these private facilities. The District, in most cases, delivers water from its storage and delivery systems for use by the District water users from various stream systems. The District does not do any maintenance of natural streams.
FAILURE TO MAINTAIN PRIVATE LATERALS AND WORKS
When privately maintained laterals and other facilities are not maintained in good condition so as to prevent loss of water and permit regular flow, the Board of Directors may construct, repair or maintain such private laterals and works or may stop delivery to the private lateral. The Board of Directors are additionally authorized pursuant to the Oregon Revised Statutes to levy and collect charges upon all tracts of land specifically benefited by the improvements in order to defray the whole or any portion of the cost and expense incurred in maintaining private laterals or works.
Anyone subdividing a tract or tracts of lands lying wholly or in part within the boundaries of the District and is currently on the District’s water user charge list or making changes to a subdivision which is on a tract or tracts of land currently on the District’s water user charge list is responsible for: 1) notifying the District of the proposed changes and obtaining District approval of the design for the delivery system before making any changes to a subdivided tract; (2) the delivery of the District’s water to any subdivided portion of the original tract or tracts; and, (3) providing the necessary easements and delivery system from the original point of delivery for said tract to each of the portions of the subdivided tract and inside the subdivision as needed.
If the developer intends to supply water to the subdivision exclusively through a municipal system, the developer shall notify the District of their intention and cooperate with the District in transferring all District water rights off the property to be subdivided before beginning any construction on the property.
Before making any changes to a subdivided tract that may affect District facilities, the developer must submit an application and obtain the authorization of the Board of Directors to alter District facilities. This includes the relocation, construction, or reconstruction of any District facility or of any road or crossing of any ditch, lateral, canal, easement or right-of-way owned or controlled by the District or the Bureau of Reclamation. The application shall include a subdivision plat showing all existing easements, rights-of-way, and facilities; all proposed easements, rights-of-way, and facilities; and any roads or crossings, new or existing, which cross any of the District’s ditches, laterals, canals, easements, or rights-of way. The application must be submitted with the fee set forth in the District’s fee schedule. In addition to the application fees, the developer shall be solely responsible for all costs related to the relocation, construction, reconstruction, or crossing of any District facility, including necessary attorney fees incurred for the negotiation or review of any documents or agreements.
The developer shall develop the subdivided property in such a manner as not to adversely affect any of the District’s facilities, or downstream users’ rights. In approving any proposed change in facilities or operations, the District will preserve access to delivery points for all irrigable lands. The design for the delivery system must comply with the District’s specifications and requirements. It is District policy to require relocated facilities to be placed underground at the District’s discretion and require the installation of fences along District facilities.
Any person who sells, contracts to sell, leases, purchases or contracts to purchase any part of a subdivided tract, shall not look to the District to provide rights-of- way, water transmission facilities, or maintenance of said facilities from the original point of delivery of the original undivided tract. All private delivery systems from the original point of delivery are the sole responsibility of either the developer or the individual land owners. The District’s obligation to deliver water shall cease at the point or points of delivery as shown on the developer’s plat as finally approved by the District and filed in the District’s office.
During the Rogue River Basin Project, Talent Division development, all of the District’s canals, laterals and easements, (exclusive of the McDonald System) were quitclaimed to the United States Bureau of Reclamation. This among other things gave the federal government an easement interest in the District’s facilities. Any person wanting to cross the District’s canals, laterals, easements, etc. with a fence, bridge, pipe or construct anything around the District’s facilities needs to acquire a crossing permit from the United States Bureau of Reclamation and the District. Contact the District office well in advance of the proposed crossing project so that the paperwork can be completed and sent to the United States Bureau of Reclamation, along with the applicable fees required by the Bureau and the District. Talent Irrigation District accepts no liability for any type of private crossings.
APPORTIONMENT OF WATER TO PARCELS OF LAND
Whenever a parcel of land lying within the District is subdivided into parcels of four acres or less the owners of those parcels shall be responsible for apportioning water among those parcels. If the owners fail to properly apportion the water to the various parcels in the subdivision, the District may employ a competent person to distribute and apportion water for such parcels.
The reasonable cost of such services shall be apportioned and charged by the District as a special charge against the subdivided parcels. The special charges so levied and apportioned shall be a lien upon the subdivided parcels of land and shall be collected in the same manner as all other charges are levied and collected by the District.
WADING OR SWIMMING IN CANALS
No person shall wade, swim, or bathe in the canals, laterals, pipelines, or works of the District. All members of the District are asked to notify the District’s office if they observe any person wading, swimming, or bathing in the District facilities.
WATER RELATED CHARGES
Water charges are established annually by the Board of Directors based upon the budgeted cost of operating the District. The Board must follow the requirements of the Oregon Revised Statutes for billing to make sure the District is self-sustained. In addition, and in accordance with the Oregon Revised Statutes, any land owned by any person totaling less than one acre in area shall be charged as one acre.
All charges are to be paid each year whether or not the water is used or available, without exception. All charges on water right lands are mailed on or about the 5th of February with a due date of April 1st. Non- receipt of invoiced notice is not sufficient reason for non-payment. Please call the District office if billing is not received by March 1st. It is the water user’s responsibility to notify the District office of any mailing address changes as they occur.
At the District’s discretion, and as time allows, the District may make available to any patron of the District, at the current rental rates, any equipment, including an operator, that is required for the normal operation of an irrigation district. The equipment must be used by the District patrons only for improvement of water distribution and only at the convenience of the District and with the understanding that the District is without liability in connection with such use and is fully indemnified therefrom by the patron. The District will only allow the use of equipment within the District boundaries.
DELINQUENCIES IN PAYMENTS
The Board of Directors, at its discretion, may withhold delivery of water to any lands within the District until such time as past due charges for any current or prior year, or years, as the Board may direct, are paid. Any debts outstanding for labor, material or equipment used to perform work at the request of the water user must be paid sixty (60) days after billing. In every case where a water user does not pay for the water, labor, material or equipment within the time required, interest accrues at a fixed rate established by the State of Oregon. Interest is charged from the date of billing and not from the date the bill was due. As stated above, the District shall have the right to withhold delivery of water until such indebtedness is paid in full.
LIENS AND FORECLOSURES
If water charges are not paid when due, the District shall place a lien upon the billed property of the District water user in the total amount of the unpaid water charges, interest and penalties pursuant to the Oregon Revised Statutes.
A lien on the property may be filed any time after a charge becomes past due in the total amount of the unpaid water charges, interest, penalties, and expenses, including attorney fees. Such lien may be filed on lands that received the benefit of the water or were entitled to receive the benefit of the water.
Any time after filing a notice of claim of lien and after the delinquency date fixed by the Board of Directors, the Board may, by resolution, direct that all delinquent charges be foreclosed upon by the District. The Board of Directors has set the foreclosure date as three years from the first non-payment of charges (at the latest), to allow the District time to transfer the water rights before they are lost due to non- use.
The District may bring a civil action for damages against any person who knowingly and willfully commits the unauthorized use of water or tampers with any of the District facilities. Pursuant to the Oregon Revised Statutes, the District may recover from the defendant the amount of actual damages incurred, plus punitive damages. The District may also recover the cost of the suit, reasonable attorney fees and expert witness fees. These remedies are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any and all other remedies, civil and criminal, provided by law. Unlawful acts include without limitation, the following:
Discarding any glass, cans or other trash, rubbish, debris or litter on land within 100 yards of any waters of the state, as defined in the Oregon Revised Statutes, other than in receptacles provided for the purpose of holding such trash, rubbish, debris or litter.
Any person, including a person in the possession or control of any land, discarding any dead animal carcass or part thereof, excrement, putrid, nauseous, noisome, decaying, deleterious or offensive substance into or in any other manner befoul, polluting or impairing the quality of any spring, river, brook, creek, branch, well, irrigation drainage ditch, irrigation ditch, cistern or pond of water.
Intentionally damaging or destroying property of the District directly or by intentionally interfering with, obstructing or altering in any manner, the service of the District; or intentionally using, manipulating, arranging or rearranging the property of the District.
TRANSFER OF WATER RIGHTS
It is possible for individual landowners to transfer water rights within the Talent Irrigation District by following the District’s established Transfer Policy. The purchasing and selling of water rights and the amount of money being paid for water rights is a private matter between the water right seller and buyer. All water rights being transferred must be inside the boundary of the District and must be able to be served from the District’s existing facilities. Once an agreement has been reached between the seller and the buyer, they each need to file the proper paperwork as outlined in the District Transfer Policy and pay the applicable fee, which is non-refundable. The transfer is then submitted to the Board of Directors of the District for preliminary review.
The Board of Directors of the Talent Irrigation District, State of Oregon Water Resources Department, and the United States Bureau of Reclamation has the authority in approving or denying an application for transfer of water right. The Board will handle each transfer on a case-by-case basis. All requests for water rights that are received go into the existing request file (waiting list). When the District receives a request for transfer of water rights which must include payment of all applicable deposits and fees, it will perform a preliminary review to determine if the request is feasible. Contact the District office for the current fee schedule. The Board reserves the right to deny any application for transfer of water rights. All decisions by the Board of Directors are final and non-appealable.
BENEFICIAL USE OF WATER RIGHT
Oregon Law requires that in order to maintain a water right, water must be applied beneficially at lease one year in every five year period. For each one acre of irrigation rights, one acre of land must be irrigated, no more, no less.
NON-USE OF WATER
Water users who no longer need their water rights due to subdivisions or land use changes must notify the District of such non- use so that the District may petition the Water Resources Department for a transfer of the water right to other irrigable land under the Oregon Revised Statutes. If a water user forfeits any water right, rather than notifying the District so that the District can transfer the water to other irrigable land, the water delivery to all District water users within the District will be injured.
If a water user has not made beneficial use of the water to which the user is entitled for a period of three (3) successive years, the District may advise the user and any security interest holder of record, that if the user does not use the water for a fourth (4) successive year, the District may petition the Water Resources Department for a transfer of the water right under the Oregon Revised Statutes.
A water user within the District shall not execute an affidavit of non-use or voluntary cancellation without District approval.
If a water user is not able or willing to apply the irrigation water to their land, there are other alternatives available to keep the water right active. For more information please contact the District office for the options currently available.
RECLAMATION REFORM ACT FORMS
Because federal funds of the Bureau of Reclamation were used to finance the reconstruction of the Talent Irrigation District in the late 50’s and early 60’s, the Reclamation Reform Act (RRA) applies to the users of water within the Talent Irrigation District. If you own and/or lease property(s), which irrigate 40.1 acres or more, you must comply with the requirements of RRA. If you own, operate or lease 40.1 acres or more and have not filed an RRA form, please contact the District office immediately. The Bureau of Reclamation requires that the RRA forms be on file in the District office before water can be delivered to said property.
At the close of each irrigation season, the District will obtain from each landowner, who owns five or more acres, a crop census report covering the number of acres and production of each variety of crops grown. These individual reports are confidential and are required for statistical data as a requirement of the District’s repayment contract with the United States Bureau of Reclamation. A summary of the information received, for the District as a whole, is submitted to the Bureau of Reclamation. The individual reports you submit to the District are not forwarded to the Bureau of Reclamation.
PUBLIC RECORD REQUESTS
The District is subject to Oregon’s Public Records Law. The District will only respond to specific written requests to inspect specific records or for copies of specific records. All Public Information Requests must be submitted in writing and approved by the District Manager. The District will then respond to the request in writing to inform the requestor of the nature and volume of the records and the estimated costs of providing the records. It is then up to the requestor to notify the District if they have any changes they want to make to their original request. A new request for records must be submitted each time records are requested. No continuing requests for records will be accepted.
Subject to any exemption that may apply under the law, anyone may inspect District records at the District office once the written request has been received, reviewed by the District Manager, and the records have been located (subject to applicable exemptions). Upon request, the District will provide copies of the requested records. The requester shall pay for the cost of District personnel to locate, assemble, review, supervise the inspection, and copy the records at the rate established by the Board of Directors. There is a one-quarter hour minimum charge for researching and compiling records.
Copies of all records will be charged at the rate set forth in the District’s current fee schedule. Payment for all Public Information Requests must be paid prior to receiving the requested information. If the request is voluminous, the District may require a deposit prior to compilation of the records. Please contact the District office for the current fee schedule for Public Information Requests.
The District is subject to Oregon’s Public Meeting Law. Subject to some exceptions, the District Board of Directors will allow public testimony or comment on any action item after receiving a specific request in writing submitted to the Manager at least ten (10) days prior to the board meeting.
The Board of Directors of the TALENT IRRIGATION DISTRICT shall meet on the first Tuesday in January following their election. At that meeting the Board of Directors shall elect officers, establish the time for the monthly board meetings, and establish the date for the annual District meeting.
The Board regularly meets at the District office on the first Tuesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., except when required by Oregon State Law to meet on any other specified day, or from time to time, as agreed to by a quorum of the Board. Anyone wishing to have a matter placed on the agenda must submit a request in writing to the Manager at least ten (10) days prior to the next scheduled board meeting.
Notice of all meetings of the Board of Directors shall be provided. The District publishes notice of the regular board meetings in the Mail Tribune in the “Public Meeting Notice” section of the paper prior to each meeting. The notice sent to the newspaper includes the time and place of the meeting and the principal subjects to be considered at the meeting. For regular meetings, the notice shall be in the form of an agenda, which shall be sent to all Board Members, etc.
GENERAL BOARD MEMBER ELECTION INFORMATION
Due to the fact that the Board of Directors terms are staggered, there will be an election held every year in early November. The only reason for an election not being held would be because there is only one candidate running for the position. The person who receives the highest number of votes at any election shall be elected, and hold office for a term of three years from the first Tuesday in January next following the election, and until a successor is elected and qualified.
Nominating petitions are typically available after September 1st of each year. If you are interested in running for a board member position and would like more information on the process please contact the District office.
Irrigation district elections do not allow any write-in candidates or voting by proxy.
RULES AND REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE
These Rules and Regulations shall be in effect on and after December 6, 2005. Upon the effective date, all existing District Rules and Regulations, including those adopted in 1967, will be superseded by these Rules and Regulations. These Rules and Regulations are subject to change by the Board of Directors at a regular session board meeting at any time to suit any
The foregoing Rules and Regulations were adopted by Resolution of the Board of Directors of the TALENT IRRIGATION DISTRICT on the 6th day of December, 2005, in regular session.
Ronald V. Meyer, President
Bob Morris, Vice President
Keith W. Corp, Jr., Director
Acre: An acre of land is 43,560 feet.
Acre foot: The volume necessary to cover 1 acre of land to a depth of 1 foot.
Cubic foot per second: c.f.s. or second foot, is a continuous flow amounting to 1 cubic foot passing a particular point each second.
Check: A structure that impedes flow for the diversion of another ditch. This structure will be a few feet downstream of the lateral that branches off of the arterial ditch. Wooden boards are slotted into the structure depending on the volume of water and how much water is needed in the lateral ditch. This structure is often mistaken for a large weir.
Diversion Box: A box, usually concrete, that allows for an accurate water measurement into one or more deliveries.
Gallon: A gallon is 231 cubic inches.
Gallon per minute (gpm): A continuous flow amounting to 1 gallon passing a point each minute.
Gate: A control structure that provides measured amounts of water into a ditch or delivery system.
Head: The depth of the water above the weir crest measured at a distance from the weir notch so as to be unaffected by the curve of the water surface as the water flows over the weir. In the submerged orifice the head is the difference in elevation between the water surfaces above and below the orifice.
TALENT IRRIGATION DISTRICT RESERVOIRS AND CAPACITIES
Emigrant Lake 39,000 acre feet
Howard Prairie 60,637 acre feet
Hyatt Lake 16,180 acre feet
Keene Creek 340 acre feet