Farm industry leaders fear recent cuts to Oregon Water Resources Department’s budget will have serious impacts on irrigated agriculture and water infrastructure.
Collected and curated media Articles about the water and rivers in the western united states
Currently, irrigation districts are compensated with state and federal grants to pipe and improve their delivery systems and receive a portion of the conserved water to expand service. Conservation groups and natural resource agencies are compensated with donations and grants to get more water back into the stream and serve the requirements of the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts.
The Deschutes Land Trust (DLT) announced last week that it has purchased and protected 1,123 acres of land along Whychus Creek northeast of Sisters. Rimrock Ranch includes rugged canyons, pine and juniper forests, and almost two miles of Whychus Creek.
The news that the Rimrock Ranch is going to remain what it is today and forever more, because it is now under the ownership of the Deschutes Land Trust, (DLT), is like hearing that apple pie is for breakfast and will help you live to 120.
The generation of hydropower in irrigation canals has long been heralded a win-win solution for both irrigators and rivers.
Aug 03, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - Editorial: Canal piping project improves water management in the Deschutes Basin
Drink water? This should matter to you. The Upper Deschutes basin has an estimated annual median water shortage of 135,000 acre-feet with up to 350,000 acre-feet in dry years. An acre foot is the amount of water to cover an acre in one foot of water. In short, it's short a lot.
A plan by the Central Oregon Irrigation District to convert 7.9 miles of canals into closed pipes has received approval by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the latest step by irrigation districts to modernize century-old infrastructure.
I stood waders-deep in an urban stream, running my net back and forth through the water, squinting and studying the sparkling ripples that blinded me. I felt eyes on me; curious park-goers who hoped to interact with me in some way.
Jul 15, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - Deschutes Basin habitat conservation plan decision expected by December
A decision on whether or not to approve the Deschutes Basin Habitat Conservation Plan, which seeks to establish flow rates for the Deschutes River for the next three decades, is on track to be made by the end of this year.
Jul 12, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - Drought: North Unit Irrigation District dials back water allotments again
Fallowing fields has become an unwanted habit for farmers in Jefferson County. Phil Fine has been doing it three years running. Fine, who grows primarily carrot and grass seed plus some alfalfa and barley, is leaving a quarter of his fields this year unplanted, or fallow, because of water restrictions caused by prolonged drought. He did the same last year and the year before that.
The details of Bend’s recently announced water curtailment alert are straightforward and don’t require anyone in Bend to do anything differently. The “Stage 1” alert is just to remind people to be responsible about water use.
There was a time in Central Oregon when progress was measured by jobs, by if the railroad would come through town and by developing canals to move water out of the Deschutes River and on to farmland. Jobs still very much matter. The railroad now plays a lesser role. The view of the river has changed.
Jul 06, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - After drought declaration, Bend residents asked to use water responsibly
The city of Bend is asking residents to be responsible with using their water. In light of a drought that has been declared in Deschutes County, Bend City Manager Eric King has declared a stage 1 water curtailment alert for the city of Bend.
Jun 16, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - Drought may leave Central Oregon irrigation districts out of water this year
Cool temperatures and consistent rainfall in recent weeks has provided some relief to Central Oregon farmers during the first stages of the growing season. But authorities warn that recent rain may not be enough to stave off water shortages later in the year.
Irrigation districts across Central Oregon are seeking assistance from the state to deal with prolonged drought conditions that have kept reservoirs at historic lows in recent years and forced farmers to keep thousands of acres of land fallow due to water shortages.
May 21, 2020 - Bend Bulletin - Scant precipitation, rapidly melting snow put irrigation districts in bind
In 12 years as manager of the North Unit Irrigation District, Mike Britton said this summer could be the toughest he’s seen by far. Low precipitation and rapidly melting snow in the Upper Deschutes and Crooked river basins mean natural stream flows will be just 19% to 78% of average through September, leaving farmers and ranchers with less water for crops and livestock.
May 13, 2020 - Capital Press - Scant precipitation, rapidly melting snow put irrigation districts in bind
Low precipitation and rapidly melting snow in the Upper Deschutes and Crooked river basins of Central Oregon mean natural stream flows will be just 19-78% of average through September, leaving farmers and ranchers with less water for crops and livestock.
Water is being released from Wickiup Reservoir at rates that are higher than average due to warm spring weather that is creating a need for more water by irrigators.
Flows on the popular fishery below Bowman Dam near Prineville are expected to increase from 330 cubic feet per second to 550 cfs, according to Brett Hodgson, a Bend-based fish biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Groundwater will be regulated less strictly under the U.S. Supreme Court’s new interpretation of the Clean Water Act compared to an earlier legal standard affecting several Western states.