Editorial: Support piping project

April 8, 2019
Editorial: Support piping project

Piping irrigation water in Deschutes County makes good sense. Just ask the folks who run the Arnold Irrigation District, which serves customers south and east of Bend. They want to get into piping in a serious way and have scheduled a public meeting later this month on the subject.

Arnold, like its counterparts around the county, must take far more water out of the Deschutes River than it delivers to customers, nearly twice as much. Seepage into the porous lava beneath unlined canals accounts for most of the water that never gets delivered. Piping, the district estimates, will save 45 cubic feet of water per second, and that will stay in the Deschutes River.

Piping, expected to cost $48 million, is so expensive that it cannot reasonably be done without financial help from the federal government. A public hearing April 17 is part of the district’s effort to seek dollars from the federal government. It will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. that day at Elk Meadow Elementary School, 60880 Brookswood Blvd.

Projects like this are a win for all concerned. River health is improved, fish and other wildlife get improved habitat, while pipes are safer for people and pets than open canals.

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