The Oregon Water Resource Commission (OWRC) awarded $4.8 million in grants to three projects, including East Fork Irrigation District’s Eastside Lateral Pipeline and Water Conservation Project in Hood River County, which will get a major lift via a $2 million grant  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.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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