Environmental review underway; work planned soon
BEND, Ore. – The Central Oregon Irrigation District announced plans Wednesday to begin piping about 3,000 feet of its irrigation canal in southwest Bend, from the Brookswood Boulevard Bridge heading west.
The timing of construction is dependent on the federal Bureau of Reclamation completing a National Environmental Protection Act analysis. COID said the project is expected to begin in December and be completed by next March.
“Piping canals is a critical strategy in modern irrigation practices,” said Craig Horrell, COID district manager. “During the irrigation season, we lose approximately 50 percent of water to evaporation and seepage from canals and laterals.
“Piped canals mitigate these losses and conserve a significant portion of this water. These conservation efforts benefit fish and wildlife in the Deschutes River ecosystem, support sustainable agriculture and help Bend to manage its water resources for the future,” Horrell added.
According to Horrell, piping this portion of the canal will restore 5 cubic feet per second (cfs) to the Deschutes River. In addition, it prepares the property for future development that will help the district fund other conservation projects.
Piping canals also reduces liability and increases safety in the water delivery system, according to COID. The district will not hold back any water, it said, and 5 cfs represents 100 percent of the conserved water.
The pipe will be buried at grade level and, when the project is completed, COID will restore the trail creating a recreation experience similar to the trail in First Street Rapids Park, between Pioneer Park and Sawyer Park in northwest Bend.
The projects continues a partnership between COID and the Bend Park and Recreation District to manage Central Oregon’s water resources and consider residential and recreation opportunities.
“Connecting people from the east side of Bend to the Deschutes River as part of the trail system is a long-held community vision. BPRD is excited to be partnering with COID to continue this work,” said Julie Brown, Bend Parks and Recreation District communications and community manager. “This project serves as a great example of how public agencies can work together to meet community needs.”
Piping this portion of the canal will cost approximately $5 million. Funding is provided by a Bureau of Reclamation grant of $1.4 million, a $3.2 million loan from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and in-kind services and cash contributions from COID.
About Central Oregon Irrigation District
Established in 1918, Central Oregon Irrigation District “COID” is a Municipal Corporation of the State of Oregon. The District’s mission is to provide a reliable supply of water to 3,500 patrons throughout Bend, Redmond, Powell Butte and Alfalfa through its system of more than 700 miles of canals. COID delivers water to each patron so all can work, play and thrive, while at the same time ensuring the needs of future patrons can be met through conservation and more efficient delivery methods. www.coid.org