Breaking Ground on Water Conservation

This article was published on: 11/6/20 4:48 PM

Central Oregon Irrigation District has broken ground on their next large-scale piping project. This project is a key component of the basin-wide efforts to restore flow in the Upper Deschutes River. In their release below, COID lays out details of the Phase 1 of the project including how the conserved water will ultimately benefit the Deschutes River.

In addition to supporting this and future piping projects, the DRC is working with COID to pipe connected district sub-laterals, and to incentivize upgrades to associated privately-owned laterals and on-farm irrigation systems. Together, this work will also facilitate increased water marketing in the project area.

Together, these projects and programs, using an integrated approach, will accelerate flow restoration in the Upper Deschutes River in the most cost-effective way.

(The following release is shared with permission from COID)

On October 20, Central Oregon Irrigation District was joined by Senator Cliff Bentz and other state and local officials in a groundbreaking ceremony for one of the largest irrigation ​conservation ​projects in ​the​ drought prone Northwest​. ​

​The ceremony marked the start of construction to modernize Central Oregon Irrigation District’s Pilot Butte Canal water delivery system​. Phase I of the conservation project includes upgrading 7.9 miles of open canals in the Smith Rock area to pressurized pipes, conserving water to benefit fish and wildlife in the Deschutes River ecosystem, support sustainable agriculture, and save water and energy for local farmers.

When piped, the first phase will immediately conserve 30 cfs while creating on-farm operating efficiencies for over 300 patrons and savings of an additional 30-40 cfs over time.

The $42 million project will create an estimated 130 jobs over the next two years.

A special thanks to Oregon’s Congressional delegation, led by Senator Jeff Merkley, for partnering with COID and seven other local irrigation districts to secure federal funding for water conservation and fish and wildlife restoration projects.