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Snow helped, but didn't end the potential of drought in portions of Central Oregon.

The North Unit Irrigation District Board of Directors set it season allotments for the upcoming season at its March 12 meeting.

Irrigators will be allowed 1.5 acre-feet per acre per Deschutes River right acres and .75 acre-feet per acre for Crooked River acreage. Last year, the rate was 2.25 acre-feet per acre for Deschutes, and 1.25 acre-feet for Crooked River.

A 2019 irrigation start date was not set given current weather/snow conditions and conditions will continue to be monitored for a start date determination. Last year, the start date was April 2.

"Although the recent snow events have greatly improved conditions in the region, it did not entirely eradicate drought conditions or concerns," noted Mike Britton, executive director of North Unit. "While the extreme drought status has been lifted, over 60 percent of the state remains in severe to moderate drought including portions of Central Oregon."

Britton added that snow accounts indicate that snowpack that influences NUID water supplies is average for the most part but the next few weeks and coming months will ultimately determine the water supply picture for this spring and summer. 

The district will continue to monitor conditions to determine an irrigation startup date as well as supply conditions.

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