Oregon water regulators were correctly held in contempt of court for failing to comply with an irrigation settlement deal, according to the state’s Court of Appeals.
The big missing ingredient for many needed changes is money. It would take hundreds of millions to make the basin’s irrigation system more efficient with piping.
The order comes after the court decided in favor of three environmental organizations that sued the Corps and the National Marine Fisheries Service, arguing the agencies weren’t doing their part to protect the species.
The rain helped to eliminate some of the wildfire smoke that has consumed Bend in recent days, but the air quality index was still in the “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category on Friday afternoon
The ongoing drought remains at the forefront of our minds as summer draws to a close.
Bailey, the manager for North Unit Irrigation District, which supplies water to Jefferson County farmers, said the farming community’s water woes can be solved by pumping water out of Lake Billy Chinook.
Irrigation canals were the key to making dry land farmable. Canals, though, also took great liberties with the natural flow of the Deschutes River.
This piping project will save 30 cubic feet per second, or 10,000-acre feet. Craig Horrell, manager of the Central Oregon Irrigation District, puts the saved water in more practical terms. That 10,000-acre feet would have extended the irrigation season two to three weeks for Jefferson County farmers this year.
Yakima River Basin reservoirs in south-central Washington have held up during this year’s drought and heat and still contain more water than usual for this time of year, Bureau of Reclamation officials said Thursday.