Wet weather could help with drought
Ochoco Irrigation District has a lot of exciting things to share with the community. In addition to this new monthly update in the paper, starting this year, we are going digital! Stay in the know by signing up to receive important alerts and notifications.
3 WAYS TO STAY UP TO DATE:
Text "OID" to (541) 303-9928Â to sign up for OID Text Alerts
Visit www.ochocoid.org for the latest news
Subscribe to our electronic newsletter at www.ochocoid.org
As of Jan. 5, Ochoco Reservoir is 8% full and Prineville Reservoir is 18% full. OID will need to store at least 8,300 acre-feet of water in Ochoco Reservoir and 65,000 acre-feet in Prineville Reservoir to meet the same delivery as the 2021 irrigation season.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Prediction Center (CPC) has issued a La Nina Advisory and expects La Nina to continue through this winter. If these projections come to fruition, it would go a long way toward alleviating or lessening drought impacts. The current long-term federal climate forecast doesn't anticipate a reversal of the historic drought.
In drought conditions, it has and will continue to become necessary for the Oregon Water Resources Department and OID to manage appropriately and, in some instances, make changes to the system and the flow rate at which deliveries are made to its patrons.
OID is actively monitoring precipitation and snow accumulation throughout the winter to help determine the anticipated reservoir storage for water year 2022. The early indications are encouraging; however, we have a long way to go before we are able to make any projections. Planning for irrigation in 2022 should take into account the likelihood that water resources could be very short again this year.
Snow Report for 1/4/2022
Snow Depth SWE (Snow Water Equivalent) Percent of Avg.
Marks Creek: 18 inches 3 inches 188%
Ochoco Meadows: 25 inches 4.8 inches 107%
Derr: 24 inches 5 inches 86%
Visit OID's website to learn about the annual meeting coming up on Jan. 17.
Infrastructure Improvement Projects
OID is implementing a $30 million Infrastructure Modernization Project, which is largely funded by Natural Resources Conservation Service with cost share from OID and various stakeholders to include the Deschutes River Conservancy. The modernization supports the McKay Water Rights Switch Project, an exchange of private instream flow water rights in McKay Creek with stored water from Prineville Reservoir for enhanced instream flows. The project:
• Provides the ability for OID infrastructure to convey and pump additional water to meet the needs of McKay Creek irrigators.
• Improves water delivery reliability to McKay Creek irrigators and irrigators served by Grimes Flat laterals.
• Conserves water along District-owned Grimes Flat laterals and IronHorse section of the Crooked River Distribution canal.
The District has completed final designs for construction of new pump plants to replace the Main and Relift stations. We are currently out for bid on this project and hope to have a contractor identified in mid-February. Our intention is to begin construction following the 2022 water season and be complete before the 2023 season begins.
Wishing everyone a wonderful new year!
Bruce Scanlon is the Ochoco Irrigation District Manager. He can be reached at 541-447-6449.
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