TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service said Tuesday it has released a Final Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Lone Pine Irrigation District's Infrastructure Modernization Project, a nearly 11-mile canal piping project.
NRCS said it "has determined that the project will not cause significant local, regional or national impacts to the environment." With a completed environmental assessment in place, the project is now eligible for federal funding and may move forward into construction.
The agency said the project will realign the Lone Pine Irrigation District’s conveyance system to achieve optimal efficiency of water delivery and reduce costs, construct a new river crossing at the Crooked River and enter the district from the southern boundary, install 10.9 miles of pressurized buried pipe and decommission 9.7 miles of open canal. The project will improve irrigation water management and delivery, reduce district operations and maintenance costs, and enhance streamflow in the Deschutes River.
By converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-pipe systems, the project will eliminate water losses from seepage and end spills, saving an estimated 2,103 acre-feet of water annually, the NRCS said.
The project is a joint effort among NRCS, Lone Pine Irrigation District, the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, the Energy Trust of Oregon and Farmers Conservation Alliance, in coordination with other agencies, stakeholders and the public.
The Final EA and other supporting documents for the project are available at: www.oregonwatershedplans.org/lone-pine-id.
The project may be partially funded through the Watershed and Flood Prevention Program, administered by NRCS and authorized by Public Law 83-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations (project sponsors) for planning and carrying out projects that help solve natural resource and related economic problems in a specific watershed. These issues can include watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and wetlands creation.