The Klamath Reclamation Project and Upper Klamath Basin power reports are available for the public to view and comment on as of Friday, according to the Klamath Basin Area Office Bureau of Reclamation and Klamath Water Users Association.
The draft reports, called the Klamath Basin Affordable Power Studies Power Cost Benchmark Report and Klamath River Basin America’s Water Infrastructure Act Affordable Power Measures Report are available at www.usbr.gov/mp/kbao/programs/affordable-power.html.
Reclamation and KWUA initially hosted a Sept. 10 meeting to inform the public about the process and status of the report. Reclamation, which is planning to have the report completed by Dec. 31, has hosted meetings every other week since for KWUA’s Power Committee as well as Upper Basin irrigators to gather feedback.
The America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA), approved by U.S. Congress in 2018, requires that Reclamation complete a congressional report identifying the average costs paid for power by irrigation water users at similarly situated Reclamation projects in the Pacific Northwest and provides a plan for bringing power costs for local irrigators down to that level, according to a news release.
For around 90 years, irrigation power users have in the region operated with power rates based on special contracts with PacifiCorp. When those contracted ended in 2006, rates increased.
“Congress made it clear that we needed to develop a report on power costs for irrigators in the Klamath Basin based on local input,” said Jeff Nettleton, who manages the Klamath Basin Area Office, in a news release. “We’ve worked closely with irrigators and other stakeholders to make that happen.”
Klamath Water Users Association Vice President Ben DuVal, who is also a member of the Power Committee, spoke favorably of the collaboration with Reclamation on the effort.
“We’re very pleased with how Reclamation has managed this process and engaged us,” DuVal said in a news release.
DuVal also stressed the need to follow through on the work.
“Our Congressional Delegation gave us a great start by requiring this report; we will need to take that road map and use it to get to where we need to be on affordable power,” DuVal said.
Comments for both reports must be submitted by 4:30 p.m., Nov. 22.
They can be submitted via hand delivery, or mail at: Power Report, Bureau of Reclamation, 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR, 97603. Those submitting comments must do so by midnight on Nov. 22 at email@example.com.