Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced Oregon will be receiving $21,713,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for projects to improve water infrastructure in Jefferson, Klamath, Umatilla, and Wasco Counties. 

“Reliable water supply is vital for our communities, for our farmers and ranchers, and for many iconic wildlife species to thrive,” said Merkley. “With persistent drought making efficiency and modernization more important than ever, up-to-date water infrastructure is critical to both our state’s economy and environment. I will keep working to secure federal resources for Oregon communities and irrigation districts to carry out vital water infrastructure projects.”    

“For too long persistent drought has been devastating to Oregon communities,” said Wyden, who with Merkley in 2022 pressed the Bureau of Reclamation to deliver drought relief dollars to Oregon. “Every year, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are directly harmed by drought. These infrastructure upgrades will go a long way to improve irrigation, water quality, wildlife refuges, and salmon and steelhead fisheries across the state.”

The Bureau of Reclamation announced a nearly $585 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for infrastructure repairs on water delivery systems throughout the West. This funding will go to 83 projects in 11 states to improve water conveyance and storage, increase safety, improve hydropower generation, and provide water treatment.   

The awards and project information for Oregon can be found below:

  • North Unit Main Canal Fish Screen Rehab or Replacement: $10,000,000 to rehabilitate or replace fish screens at the headworks to meet current Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife requirements and future Habitat Conservation Plan requirements. 
  • Klamath A Canal: $5,000,000 to conduct a planning study for rehabilitation. 
  • Klamath C Canal: $3,750,000 to construct a slurry cutoff wall and to retrofit a check structure and modify one flume. 
  • Mill Creek Plant – Surge Tank Installation: $2,200,000 to install a surge tank with modern motors and no flywheels. 
  • Hermiston Irrigation District Cold Springs Dam and Reservoir Outlet Gates Replacement: $703,000 to remove and replace the upstream-most outlet works gate house access footbridge support. 
  • West Extension Main Canal West Division Rehabilitation: $60,000 to Rehabilitate 2800 linear feet of the main canal and install drainage system for 60% of the project.