Support Local Journalism!        

Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



However, the current long-term federal climate forecast doesn't anticipate a reversal of the historic drought

OCHOCO IRRIGATION DISTRICT - Recent snowfall and ongoing La Nina pattern could help with drought, but not reverse it.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.


Text Notifications

Text "OID" to (541) 303-9928 to sign up for OID Text Alerts

OID website

Visit for the latest news


Subscribe to our electronic newsletter at

Water Outlook

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%

Annual Meeting

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.

You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.

Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!

Go to top