Includes a new crossing of the Crooked River; estimated to save 2,100 acre-feet of water
TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Lone Pine Irrigation District, east of Terrebonne, plans to replace nearly 10 miles of open-pit irrigation canals with pressure buried pipes, the latest project in the area designed to improve irrigation efficiency and promote water savings, officials said Tuesday, releasing the plan for a 30-day comment period.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) said it had examined the potential impacts of the Lone Pine Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project and released a draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (draft plan-EA).
The NRCS said the Lone Pine Irrigation District is proposing to realign the district’s transportation system to achieve optimum water delivery efficiency and reduce costs, construct a new river crossing at the Crooked River and entering the district from the southern boundary, installing 10.9 miles of buried pressure pipe systems and decommissioning 9.7 miles of open channel.
“The proposed project would improve the management and distribution of irrigation water, reduce operating and maintenance costs for the district, and improve the flow of the Deschutes River,” the agency said in its announcement.
By converting open-pit irrigation canals to closed-pipe underground systems, the Lone Pine Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project would eliminate water loss from seepage and final spills, saving an estimated $ 2 103 acre-feet of water per year.
The Deschutes Basin Control Board is the primary sponsor of the project, with the Lone Pine Irrigation District as a co-sponsor. Funding and technical support is provided by the NRCS, the Energy Trust of Oregon, and the Farmers Conservation Alliance.
Lone Pine Irrigation District, formed in 1920, is also known as Crook County Improvement District # 1. It has 20 patrons and irrigates 2,369 acres, located seven miles east of Terrebonne in “a beautiful valley of sandy loam soil which produces cereals, grass hay, alfalfa hay, numerous crops of seeds, field corn, potatoes and mint, âaccording to information released by DBBC.
The NRCS, District and FCA will host a virtual public meeting on Wednesday May 5 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to discuss the draft EE-plan and answer questions about the project. You can register for the meeting and view the draft plan-EA at www.oregonwatershedplans.org . A recording of the meeting will then be available on the same website. A printed copy of the draft EE-plan is also available at the Deschutes Public Library Redmond Branch (827 SW Deschutes Ave, Redmond, OR 97756).
Public comments on the draft EA-plan can be submitted until May 20. Comments can be emailed to [email protected], submitted online at www.oregonwatershedplans.org , or mailed to: Farmers Conservation Alliance, 102 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.
After the public comment period, the NRCS will assess the comments and integrate them into a final EE-plan. If the NRCS publishes a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the project and authorizes the final EE-plan, the project can proceed to final design and construction.
The project may be partially funded by the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program, administered by the NRCS and authorized by Public Law 83-566. Through this program, the NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations (project sponsors) for the planning and implementation of watershed projects that help solve related natural resource and economic issues in a specific watershed. These issues may include protection of watersheds, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, improvement of fish and habitat habitat. wildlife and the creation of wetlands. The authorized objective for the proposed project is agricultural water management.
For more information on this and other irrigation modernization projects in Oregon, visit www.oregonwatershedplans.org or visit the NRCS Oregon Public Notice webpage at https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/or/newsroom/pnotice/.