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Santiam Water Control District to Modernize Irrigation Infrastructure

Public Scoping Meeting May 31, 2023
Publish Date
Pivot sprinkler irrigation system in Madison County, MT, on Aug 29, 2019.  USDA Photo by Lance Cheung.

The Santiam Water Control District proposes to modernize District irrigation infrastructure to improve the efficiency of its system.

Stayton, Ore., May 4, 2023 – Santiam Water Control District (SWCD or the District) proposes to modernize District irrigation infrastructure to improve the efficiency of its system. The project would include piping and/or lining canals and laterals, realigning sections of the current system, and upgrading pumps and pump stations throughout the District. These measures would improve the use and control over water throughout the District, improve management of drainage and stormwater, and increase resiliency to drought.

The proposed project is regionally significant. The District diverts water for a myriad of stakeholders throughout Marion County, including agriculture, the City of Stayton, the City of Salem, and the Mill Creek Corporate Center. These are an essential part of the Willamette Basin’s economy and depend on the District’s ability to deliver water effectively and efficiently. In addition, SWCD also manages the drainage and stormwater for the City of Stayton.  Modernizing SWCD infrastructure would improve water conveyance efficiency, reduce operations and maintenance costs, improve management of stormwater and drainage water, and increase drought resilience for a diverse array of stakeholders throughout Marion County.

The project is sponsored by Santiam Water Control District, with funding and technical support from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Oregon. Farmers Conservation Alliance is assisting with the planning process as a contractor.

Members of the public are invited to provide input to help guide planning efforts during a scoping meeting on May 31, 2023 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Turner Memorial Tabernacle – Pioneer Hall at 5605 Jubilee Dr. SE, Turner, OR 97392. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposed infrastructure improvements and submit their comments, ideas, and concerns. A recording of the meeting will be available afterwards at

Public comments may be submitted from May 4, 2023, through June 22, 2023. Comments may be emailed to, submitted online at, left as a voice message at (541) 716-6085, or mailed to: Farmers Conservation Alliance, 102 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.

Following the public scoping period, project partners will develop a Draft Watershed Plan - Environmental Assessment. The public will have an opportunity to review the draft plan and provide additional input.

Once complete, the watershed plan will enable the District to apply for funding to construct infrastructure improvements through NRCS’ Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program, authorized by Public Law 83-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations (project sponsors) for planning and carrying out watershed projects for the purpose of watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, and fish and wildlife habitat enhancement.

Additional information is available online at or the NRCS Oregon public notices webpage.



Lauren Bennett, NRCS Oregon
Public Affairs Officer

BJ Westlund, Farmers Conservation Alliance
Government Relations Manager