Morrow County irrigation district receives $70K in fed funds

IRRIGON – Oregon’s U.S. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron
Wyden announced Tuesday, Jan. 10, that $198,668 is coming from the U.S.
Bureau of Reclamation for projects to improve water efficiency in Morrow
County, Bend and Klamath County.

Irrigon’s West Extension Irrigation District is to receive
$70,000 for its Canal Automation and Monitoring Project. This is to install
three automatic supervisory control and data acquisition controlled gates
within its relocation canal. It’s also to provide continual monitoring capabilities
and automatic adjustment of flow rates to decrease daily water consumption.

“Reliable water supply is vital for communities,
farmers and ranchers, and for many iconic wildlife species?to
thrive,” Merkley said in a press release. “I’m pleased these
funds are going to help improve water efficiency improvements in Oregon’s
agriculture industry so there’s more water to go around. Ensuring that every
community has up to date water infrastructure will benefit Oregonians across
the state, and I will keep working to secure federal resources to make these
vital water infrastructure projects affordable for every community that needs

“I have heard from communities around Oregon about
their desperate need for reliable water infrastructure that supports both
agricultural goals and conservation efforts,” Wyden
said. “I am gratified to see these important investments in water
efficiency for Deschutes, Morrow and Klamath counties go toward increasing
water efficiency, managing flow rates and preventing seepage into the soil so
that communities can better plan for their water use.”

The Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $7 million for 82
local community projects across the country, including measuring water flow,
automating water delivery, or lining canals.

This funding is part of the WaterSMART Program,
which was provided $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to
support irrigation and water districts, tribes, states and other entities with
water or power delivery authority for small water efficiency improvements.