Merkley joins 3 C.O. irrigation districts, nonprofits to break ground on $120 million in canal piping projects

October 20, 2023
Merkley joins 3 C.O. irrigation districts, nonprofits to break ground on $120 million in canal piping projects

Work begins on piping nearly 50 more miles of open canals by 2029TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., joined leaders from three Deschutes River Basin irrigation districts and nonprofits Farmers Conservation Alliance and Energy Trust of Oregon to break ground Friday on a series of projects to modernize critical irrigation infrastructure serving 2,500 farmers and producers and 85,000 acres of land across Central Oregon.

When complete, officials say, these upgrades will save energy and millions of gallons of water each year, lowering costs for Oregon farmers.

Here's the rest of the full announcement of Friday's groundbreaking ceremony near Smith Rock State Park, as provided by the Energy Trust of Oregon:

With support from FCA, Energy Trust, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and others, the Arnold Irrigation District, North Unit Irrigation District and Ochoco Irrigation District have begun the estimated $120 million process of converting aging, open ditch irrigation canals into modern piped, pressurized systems, as numerous irrigation districts have been doing in the region for some time. and

About Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust of Oregon is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping utility customers benefit from saving energy and generating renewable power. Our services, cash incentives and energy solutions have helped participating customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural, Cascade Natural Gas and Avista save $4.6 billion on energy bills. Our work helps keep energy costs as low as possible, creates jobs and builds a sustainable energy future. Learn more at or call 1-866-368-7878.

About Farmers Conservation Alliance

Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA®) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that is championing irrigation modernization strategies to achieve agricultural resilience and conservation benefits. Formed in 2005, FCA is currently partnering with farmers throughout the west to install fish screens and develop and implement customized approaches for broad-scale irrigation modernization. Learn more at

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