Streamflow Restoration Projects in the
Deschutes River Basin

Historically, nearly 90% of the streamflow from the Deschutes River in Bend was diverted through irrigation canals during the irrigation season. These diversions caused a dramatic reduction of streamflow in the middle reach of the Deschutes, between Bend and Lake Billy Chinook.

The DRC works closely with irrigation districts and other partners to create a more efficient water delivery system to allow more water to remain instream. As a result of our collaborative approach, the Middle Deschutes River has seen a five-fold increase in streamflow during the hot summer months. The improvement to the health of the river, as well as to the resident fish and wildlife, has been dramatic.

Similar stories are in progress throughout the Deschutes Basin’s rivers and streams, including the Crooked River, Whychus Creek and other tributaries of the Deschutes. Read about them by clicking the links below:


The Deschutes River Conservancy's Latest Projects


The Upper Deschutes Basin Study

Redesigning water management for a

sustainable future in Central Oregon


The North Unit Water Supply Program

Restoring up to 198 cfs to the Crooked River


Whychus Creek Restoration Initiative

Restoring 25 cfs to Whychus Creek


McKay Creek Water Rights Switch

Restoring up to 11 cfs to McKay Creek

Central Oregon Irrigation District

Juniper Ridge Piping Project

Restoring 20 cfs to the Deschutes River

 Swalley-hydro-power-project-thumb.jpg  Swalley Irrigation District Main Canal

Piping and Hydro-Power Project

Restoring 28 cfs to the Deschutes River