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US Bureau of Reclamation funds CO Irrigation District water conservation pilot project

And one in Hood River Basin

WASHINGTON – The federal Bureau of Reclamation said Tuesday it is allocating $219,496 for two water conservation pilot projects in Central Oregon and the Hood River Basin. The Central Oregon Irrigation District and East Fork Irrigation District water management pilots will analyze improvements to conserve water for identified needs in their areas.

The two districts are providing $232,480 in cost-sharing for the two pilot projects.

"Collaboration is key for Reclamation and its partners to meet future water supply challenges," said Chief Engineer David Raff. "These pilot projects are good examples of collaboration to develop proactive solutions that can work locally, regionally and throughout the nation."

The Central Oregon Irrigation District will develop a suite of analytical tools to evaluate and prioritize water conservation efforts in the Deschutes River Basin.

The pilot study will investigate potential water conservation projects and quantify the amount of water saved and costs associated with each project. Once complete, water managers will be more informed to choose the best water conservation projects to restore instream flows while ensuring water supply reliability.

Partners on this pilot include the Oregon Water Resources Department and Deschutes River Conservancy. It builds upon the recently completed Upper Deschutes River Basin Study. Reclamation is providing $176,996 for this project, and the partner cost-share is $187,730. 

The East Fork Irrigation District will develop a sediment management plan to build on sediment control options identified in the Hood River Basin Study. The pilot will include water quality sampling to evaluate sediment control measures and conceptual design of the preferred solution. Once the pilot is complete, the district will implement a sediment control strategy to help farms improve water conservation measures. These water conservation measures will also help the district meet instream flow requirements and make water available for listed-fish species. Reclamation is providing $42,500 for this project, and the partner cost-share is $44,750. 

Water Management Options Pilots are technical efforts that build on, update, or expand the analysis and planning in a completed basin study. The funding provided is not financial assistance or a grant. Reclamation funding will support its staff and technical experts as they work collaboratively with the partners on both pilot projects. 

To learn more about the Water Management Options Pilots, please visit www.usbr.gov/watersmart.

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