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Q&A      FAQ

Questions & Answers          Frequently Asked Questions


Can you change or remove a name on my account?

 We must legally list the owner's name as shown on the property deed. If you have a change of ownership, marriage, divorce, death, or other change, you will need to legally have the deed changed in the Official Records of Jackson County, Oregon, for us to change the name on the account.


Why do you have the wrong mailing address for my account?

The district does everything it can to keep our records updated with current mailing addresses, however, it is ultimately the landowners’ responsibility to make sure you have notified the district office of any address changes.


What is the billing year for the irrigation charges?

The district is on a calendar year.  Annual bills to our water users are sent on January 2nd of each year for the upcoming irrigation season.


How often am I billed? When is the late fee applied and when does interest begin accruing?

The district does its annual billing on January 2nd and the accounts are due by the last day in February. If the account is not paid in full by March 1st a one-time $45 late fee is added to each tax lot.

On March 1st, all accounts that were not paid in full by the end of February will begin to accrue interest charges and will continue to be charged on the 1st of each month thereafter.


What interest rate is charged on delinquent accounts?

The interest rate is 16% per annum which is calculated at 1.33% per month on the outstanding balance. The interest rate is set by State Statute and not by the district.


How can I pay my irrigation bill?

You can pay your irrigation charges using the following options:

By Cash, Check, Money Order, Cashier’s Check or Credit/Debit Card:

In-person – Our office is located at 5045 Jacksonville Hwy, Central Point, Oregon.

By mail – Please mail your payment to PO Box 70, Jacksonville, Oregon 97530.

Online bill-pay from your bank. This option may be free – contact your bank for details.

By Debit/Credit or Electronic Check (E-Check):

Online on our website:

We have partnered with Point & Pay to allow you to make payments using your VISA, Master Card, American Express, and Discover Card or a direct debit to your bank account.  Since these payments are administered by a third party, there is a processing fee if you choose to use this service.

The fees for this service are:

Debit/Credit – $3.00 per hundred dollars.         

Electronic Check – $2.95 flat fee

You can make payments or contract for a payment plan which must be paid in full by September of the irrigation season.

Over the phone – Please call 541-899-9913 M-F from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.


Can I make partial payments on my irrigation bill?

YES!  You can make payments on your irrigation bill. The district accepts any payment you would like to make, but keep in mind all balances due after March 1st are assessed a one-time $45 late fee, and monthly interest charges continue to accrue on all unpaid balances.

The one exception when the district will not accept payments is on those accounts that have been turned over to our attorney for foreclosure proceedings. Those accounts must be paid for in full.


I am not going to use the water this irrigation season, so why do I have to pay my bill?

Your bill, based on the number of acres you have water rights for, is not for the water you use, but for your portion of the administration, operation, maintenance, and Safety of Dams of the entire irrigation system. Medford Irrigation District maintains and improves approximately 200 miles of canals year-round, which delivers water to 12,115.90 acres of irrigated land each irrigation season. The district provides and maintains the infrastructure that delivers water to its users. This continual maintenance must be done whether you decide to use the water or not.


Do the irrigation fees increase every year?

The irrigation fees do not automatically increase every year. The district develops an annual budget to cover the expenses of all administration, Safety of Dams, operation, and maintenance of the system.  In some years there is no increase and in others, there is a slight increase to cover the ever-increasing costs of maintenance, labor, administration, etc.


What happens if I do not pay my irrigation bill by May 1st?

If your account is not paid in full by May 1st, you will have a lien placed on your property for the prior and current year's irrigation charges and you will be charged a $300 lien fee. This additional fee is to cover the cost of preparing and recording the lien as well as preparing and recording the Satisfaction of the Lien once the account is paid.  Once a property has 3 unpaid years, their account is turned over to the district’s attorney to begin foreclosure procedures.


When does the irrigation season start and end?

In an ideal situation, when the reservoirs are at full capacity, the normal irrigation season would run from April 1st to October 1st. The Board of Directors evaluates the annual snowpack, current water supply in all the reservoirs, the weather, and the water needs of our water users and makes the call on the best possible date to start the season. If the weather continues to be cool and wet, the Board tries to delay bringing water down from the reservoirs to have it available longer throughout the summer. Once the Board decides to start the season, the staff updates the website and sends an email to all water users to let them know. Once the irrigation season officially begins, you will need to place a “Water Order” to get on the schedule for water delivery.

Each month during the irrigation season the Board monitors water supply levels, the weather, and water usage and determines when we need to end the season. In an ideal situation, carryover will be left in the reservoirs to ensure a good water season next year.


When will I get my water (Water Orders)?

Due to the limited size of the canal delivery system, not everyone can use the water at the same time, so the Ditch Riders rotate the water use among the water users to try to ensure the water quantities are as equitable as possible and the water is available when needed and it is not wasted.

To get on the water delivery schedule you need to place a “Water Order” by calling the district office at least twenty-four (24) hours before you want to start using it for the season. The district will make every effort to deliver water within twenty-four (24) hours of the time requested, but some delays may occur. Your Ditch Rider will add your request to their schedule and let you know when it is your turn to use water. Your Ditch Rider will give you more specific information based on your unique needs.

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.

Water orders shall be called to the district’s office at 541-899-9913 Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Do I need to do anything when I am done using the water?

You will need to call the district office at least twelve (12) hours before finishing with the water on your rotation. The finishing hour should be such as to allow the Ditch Rider to give the water to another user in time for them to set up their irrigation or for the Ditch Rider to place the water back into storage.


Can I order water for frost protection before April 1st?

Yes. The district’s water rights do allow the use of water for frost protection. We also can make any water deliveries before April 1st.


Where does the irrigation water come from?

The district uses the water from the natural stream flows of several streams along with our reservoir system which includes Fourmile Lake, Fish Lake, and Emigrant Lake.


Why is my canal head gate locked?

The district locks all canal head gates at the end of the irrigation season.  This is done due to liability issues during the winter months.


When will my canal head gate be unlocked?

The canal gates will be unlocked at the beginning of the irrigation season.  If your head gate has not been unlocked when you are ready to start using water, just give the office a quick call and we will contact the ditch rider and he will get it unlocked as soon as possible.


What is a ditch rider?

A ditch rider is an employee of the district who is responsible for the delivery of water to their section of the district’s canal delivery system.  This is the person who plans the water delivery schedules for each section of landowners in the district.  Due to the limited size of the canal delivery system, not everyone can use the water at the same time, so the ditch riders rotate the water use among the water users to try to ensure the water quantities are as equitable as possible to the water demand.


How do I get a hold of my ditch rider?

All water orders or messages for the ditch riders are to be called into the district office at 541-899-9913.  This way the office has a record of all calls.  The ditch riders do have cell phones, but the office does not give out the cell phone numbers of any of our employees.  We want all calls to come into the office.  The ditch riders use their cell phones to contact water users after receiving requests to do so from the office.  All the ditch rider cell phone numbers come across as “private” or “blocked” so if you want to talk to them you need to accept the call.


Why is there not enough water in the ditch for me to irrigate during my irrigation rotation?

There are many reasons that canals can be low on water.  The water flows through many miles of open canals and ditches with many factors affecting the water flows including the district removing moss in the canals which interrupts the water flow; private water right irrigators using the water; someone taking the water out of turn, etc. If you have a concern, you may call the district office at 541-899-9913.


Does the District use chemicals in the canal water to control the moss growth?

NO!  The district does not use any chemicals in the irrigation water; however, it is important to remember that the water comes from creeks and lakes and flows through many miles of open canals and the district has no way of knowing what the canal water has been exposed to. We cannot make any guarantees of water quality.


Can I walk, ride bicycles, horses, four-wheelers, etc. on the canal roads?

NO!  The property where the ditches are located is owned by private landowners and the district has an easement for its use for the operation and maintenance of the canal system.  You are trespassing on private property if you enter onto the canal roads for any purpose.

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