The Oregon Water Resources Commission awarded $4.8 million in grants to three projects. The following projects were awarded funding:

East Fork Irrigation District’s Eastside Lateral Pipeline & Water Conservation Project in Hood River County will get a major lift via a $2 million grant, from Oregon Water Resources Commission, to replace six miles of open irrigation canals with pipe and eliminate end spills.

The conserved water would benefit the East Fork Hood River during periods of low flow, according to an OWRC press release.

It is one of three grants totalling $4.8 million for the 2020 cycle of OWRC Water Project Grants and Loans. Other grantees are:

Tumalo Irrigation District in Deschutes County, $1.2 million to improve irrigation efficiency by installing a closed piping system and protecting the conserved water in Tumalo Creek. The improvements would serve to deliver pressurized water to patrons and eliminate the need for wasteful retention ponds.

Lone Pine Irrigation District’s Modernization Project (Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson counties) received a $1.6 million award to pipe 10.5 miles of open canals and construct a new river crossing for the delivery system. System efficiencies would be achieved in addition to legally protecting the conserved water instream.

Water Projects Grants and Loans provides funding for projects that meet instream and out-of-stream water supply needs and produce economic, environmental, and social/cultural benefits, according to OWRC. Funding for projects is awarded annually, with applications due each spring. Funding awards are made based on the public benefits the projects would achieve as described in the project applications. Eligible water projects include, but are not limited to conservation, reuse, storage, streamflow protection and restoration, and water infrastructure.

The Oregon Water Resources Department is the state agency charged with studying, allocating, and distributing water in Oregon. The Department’s Water Resources Development Program helps Oregonians address instream and out-of-stream water supply needs now and into the future. The Program includes funding opportunities and other resources through three program components: Place-Based Planning Grants, Feasibility Study Grants, and Water Project Grants and Loans. The Oregon Water Resources Commission is a seven-member citizen body that sets state water policy and oversees activities of the Water Resources Department, including the award of grants.