RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE DISTRUBUTION AND USE OF IRRIGATION WATER IN THE KING HILL IRRIGATION DISTRICT – 01/01/2018
The King Hill Irrigation District is a quasi-municipality, a political subdivision of the State of Idaho, duly organized and operated pursuant to the statutes of the Idaho Department of Water Resources. The District is operated by a staff of water delivery professionals under the guidance and supervision of a five-member Board of Directors. Board of Directors meetings are scheduled to be held on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the District office at 4183 N Meridian Street, King Hill, Idaho. Meeting times during irrigation season are at 7:00 pm. Off season meeting times are at 2:00 pm.
The following rules and regulations have been established by the board of directors to give each water user a clear understanding of his or her rights and responsibilities. THE INFORMATION IN THESE RULES AND REGULATIONS SUPERSEDE ALL PRIOR VERSIONS THAT MAY PREVIOUSLY HAVE BEEN EXPRESSED OR EMPLIED IN BOTH WRITTEN AND ORAL FORMAT.
The regular irrigation season starts on April 10th and ends October 10th of each year. However, the board reserves the right to lengthen or shorten the season or to totally shut down for brief periods if weather or other circumstances warrant.
Participation in the Idaho Power Peak Rewards Program
Each irrigation season, you will be notified if the boards of directors decide it’s in the best interest of the district to participate. From June 15th to August 15th, the Peak Rewards program provides a significant financial incentive for turning off the irrigation pumps during specific hours when summer demand for energy is high. A minimum of three events occur each season for no more than four hours each. Idaho Power will typically provide us notification four hours before each event. Your ditch rider will then make suggestions as to which four hour shut down period best suits the continuity of water flow in the ditches that supply water to your irrigation systems.
In order for the district to manage these events, it’s imperative that the district’s crop irrigators shut off their water for the recommended four hour period. Failure to do so will prompt your ditch rider to take measures to insure compliance, including that of locking the head gate which supplies water to your property. Because of time constraints, it’s impossible for the district to notify all of its lawn and garden customers before an event.
Problems, Resolution and Emergencies
In an environment where we need to interact, it is vital that our water users and district employees can expect to be treated with mutual respect. Rude behavior is insidious and not helpful in problem solving. Please be assured that he or she is doing everything possible to resolve your issue. Incessant telephone calls, voice mails and vulgar language to district employees will not be tolerated nor will it immediately remedy your problem. Personal threats to district employees will be brought to the attention of local law enforcement.
Problems encountered by a water user not resolved by your ditch rider should be reported to the district manager. If resolution is not forthcoming in a reasonable amount of time, please contact your area board member. He or she may recommend that your situation be brought before the entire board at their next regular board meeting for review. If so, please make arrangements with the Secretary so he or she will include you on the forthcoming agenda.
The District’s manager is empowered to act in the boards stead on emergency matters. However, his or her actions are subject to later confirmation of the board of directors.
Water orders must be placed at least 24 hours in advance with your ditch rider. The ditch rider cannot make automatic or perpetual changes. However, it is essential that you notify your ditch rider immediately should you turn off earlier than expected. The ditch riders start their rides at approximately 7:00 am each day and are available until 8:00 pm, except in emergencies. Please do not place water orders after 8:00 pm.
For those of you with less than five (5) acres on lands located in Glenns Ferry, King Hill and Bliss, water orders are not necessary.
It is the responsibility of every property owner to insure they are being responsible with their watering habits. When watering your lawn, please monitor the water to ensure you aren’t over watering. If you are a crop irrigator, please order your water on and off appropriately. If water is not ordered off, it is wasted down drain ditches and unable to be put to beneficial use for irrigation purposes. If it’s turned on and not ordered beforehand, it affects those users with planned orders. This adversely affects everyone in the district.
All property owners with five or more acres of irrigated land must have a measuring device by way of a meter, weir or orifice. These measuring devices must be in working condition and within 5% of accuracy.
Responsibility for Water
The district does not supply water pressure. The responsibility of the district to deliver water to its users ends at the point of delivery. The water then becomes the responsibility of the water user or users who use the turnout. The district will make every effort possible to insure a continuous supply of water to its water users. However, since most water flows through miles of open ditches it becomes subject to pollution, blowing sand and weeds, gopher damage, pump failure, interrupted electricity, etc. It is impossible for the district or its agents to guarantee continuous uninterrupted water delivery. Consequently, any damage to its customer’s equipment or crops caused by defective delivery of water, shortage of water or defective water quality are to be borne by the water user and not by the district.
The district will not be responsible for maintaining individual water use records after the initial point of diversion. When land within the district is subdivided, the district does not have any responsibility for the delivery of irrigation water to the newly formed parcels. Water will continue to be delivered to the original diversion point.
Land classification within the district was established many years ago and was based upon the type of soil in a given area. Sandy soil, needing the most water to grow crops was designated as Class 3 and apportioned 1.5 inches per acre. Class 2 is apportioned 1.25 inches per acre. The best soil, Class 1 is apportioned 1 inch per acre. However, land placed under sprinklers or pivots is authorized to use one (1) inch per acre. Initial classification will resume when the land is no longer being irrigated by sprinkler methods.
Control of District Facilities
All head gates, turnouts, meters and other control devices will be operated by district employees only; except for residential customers with irrigation box access located in close proximity to their property. Any person who interferes with the setting or adjustments of these gates and checks will be held strictly liable for any damage resulting from their interference.
It is unlawful for any person to maliciously cut, breakdown, injure, destroy or remove any ditch, canal, trench, pipe, dam, reservoir, bridge, meter, road or other property owned by the district. It is unlawful to dump sewage, animal matter, rubbish, garbage or other refuse into the water distribution complex. Any person who causes damage to any facility or equipment owned by the district shall be responsible for all costs of necessary repairs.
No new bridge, pivot, fence, cattle guard, head gate, weir pool, settling pond, or other infringement upon district property shall be built or changed without written permission. Any structure that causes unreasonable interference with the operation and maintenance of the district may be removed after written notice to do so is delivered to the landowner. The landowner will be responsible for all costs of such removal.
Easements and Rights of Way
Because we have a responsibility to deliver irrigation water, we must be able to operate and maintain the ditches and laterals to minimize the risk of dich bank failure or blockage which could result in significant damage to adjacent landowners. In order to maintain our system efficiently, we should and do have access by way of easements pursuant to the Statues of the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Easements include the area on both sides of the ditch or lateral. Irrigation easements include the right to cross private property to place material on the ditch banks, monitor and adjust water flows, remove sediment and debris, control weed growth by mowing, spraying or burning as well as the ability to perform other maintenance duties as needed. Please remove any obstruction which interferes with maintaining the ditches and laterals. Obstructions include parked pivots, equipment, sprinkler pipe, farm implements, vehicles and tree growth. Please make sure that gates are not locked and are easy to open without special tools. Easements are not public property and are not open to public use.
King Hill Irrigation District is not responsible for anything left in the easement along canals and drain ditches. Responsible parties may be billed for removal of anything impeding the use of an easement by the district.
King Hill Irrigation District owns all the water rights within its district while our customers have an entitlement to use the water. No single customer owns the water; rather the customers have the right to use a proportionate share of the water based on the benefits apportioned to their land. The district owns the water; not the individual landowners, and it is ultimately up to King Hill Irrigation District to determine/approve different uses or places of use of the water. If private landowners want to lease water from one another, provided that the lands are wholly located in the District’s existing boundaries, they can. But that process is always subject to the district’s right of review and approval from its board of directors.