What we do

Irrigation Modernization

The Deschutes River has been a critical source of water for agriculture for more than a hundred years.

However, this water use has come at the expense of a healthy river. The many miles of irrigation canals that are used to move water from the river to the farms were dug through the porous, volcanic ground, requiring the diversion of over 90% of the river’s water to ensure landowners receive their delivery. Since the late 1990s, the Deschutes River Conservancy has worked with irrigation district partners like Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) and North Unit Irrigation District (NUID) to modernize these canal systems - piping the open ditches to reduce water losses via seepage and evaporation. In recent years, the Deschutes River Conservancy and our district partners have saved and restored up to 350 cubic feet per second to the river and its tributaries, for the benefit of fish, wildlife, water quality, and everyone who enjoys the Deschutes River.

A river running through a lush green forest.

Join the Conservation Effort

Sign up for updates and alerts on Deschutes Basin irrigation modernization, including public hearings and comment opportunities.

A blurry photo of a stream of water.

Submit Letters of Support

Share your thoughts on your support of our continued work with irrigation district partners by submitting a letter.

A river running through a lush green forest.

Support DRC's Work

The Deschutes River Conservancy bridges the needs of our rivers and local water users through collaboration and conservation.

Canal Piping

Piping canals saves water and restores rivers.

On-Farm Efficiency

Improving irrigation, supporting river health together.

Water Transactions

Designed to thoughtfully aid water resource management.

Support DRC’s Work

The Deschutes River Conservancy bridges the needs of our rivers and local water users through collaboration and conservation.