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Notice of Availability of Draft EA for Swalley Irrigation District Modernization

Notice of Availability of Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment and Public Meeting Oct. 10

Swalley Irrigation District Modernization Project

The United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), with assistance from Farmers Conservation Alliance and in cooperation with Swalley Irrigation District and the Deschutes Basin Board of Control as the project sponsor, announces the availability of a Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Draft Plan - EA) to improve aging irrigation infrastructure in Swalley Irrigation District. These improvements may be partially funded through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act of 1954 (PL 83-566) and will address water conservation, enhancement of aquatic species habitat, and public safety while supporting existing agricultural land use.

The goal of the Swalley Irrigation District Modernization Project is to improve water conservation, water delivery reliability, and public safety on 16.6 miles of canals and laterals owned by Swalley Irrigation District. The project would increase flows in the Deschutes River downstream of North Canal Dam during the irrigation season and decrease energy use associated with pumping.

The proposed project is located in the north-central portion of Deschutes County. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Council on Environmental Quality’s regulations at 40 CFR Parts 1500-1508 require an evaluation of potential environmental impacts associated with federal projects and actions with input from the public. NRCS has reviewed the potential impacts of the project and released a Draft Plan-EA.

You are invited to attend a public meeting where your input is requested. The range of resource issues and alternatives addressing system improvements to Swalley Irrigation District will be presented and discussed.


Public Meeting on Draft Plan-EA

Date: Oct. 10, 2018

Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Location: Cascades Academy / 19860 Tumalo Reservoir Road / Bend, OR 97703


The meeting location is accessible to persons with disabilities. A request for an interpreter for the hearing impaired or for other accommodations for persons with disabilities should be made at least 48 hours before the meeting to David McKay (541) 716-6085 or

Comments on the Draft Plan-EA may be submitted during a public comment period starting September 24, 2018 and ending on October 24, 2018. View the complete Draft Watershed Plan-EA and other project information online at Printed copies of the Draft Plan-EA are also available at Deschutes Public Library (507 NW Wall St in Bend), the Swalley Irrigation District Office (64672 Cook Ave, Suite 1 in Bend), and the USDA Redmond Service Center (625 SE Salmon Ave, Suite 4 in Redmond).

Comments may be emailed to, submitted online at, or mailed to:

Farmers Conservation Alliance

11 3rd Street, Suite 101

Hood River, OR 97031

Project Purpose and Need

Through the Watershed Program, authorized by Public Law 83-566, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations for planning and carrying out watershed projects that help solve natural resource and related economic problems in a specific watershed. These issues can include watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and wetlands creation.

In accordance with the provisions of the NRCS’s Watershed Program, the Swalley Irrigation District is eligible for funding to address water loss in District conveyance systems, water delivery and operations inefficiencies, instream flow for fish and aquatic habitat, and risks to public safety from open irrigation canals. The purpose of this project is to improve water conservation, water delivery reliability, and public safety on District-owned canals and laterals.


Publish Date: Sept. 21, 2018