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News Release

Ochoco Irrigation District to modernize aging infrastructure, public scoping meeting Sept. 18



Margi Hoffman, Farmers Conservation Alliance
Community Relations Director
Phone: 541-716-6085

Prineville, Ore. (Aug. 27, 2019) - The Ochoco Irrigation District and project partners propose to modernize aging infrastructure to conserve water, reduce energy use, improve operational efficiencies, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in Ochoco and McKay creeks and the Crooked River.

By converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-pipe systems, and installing new pump stations, the proposed Ochoco Irrigation District Modernization Project could reduce tailwater and seepage losses over the entire irrigation season and improve the District’s ability to efficiently provide water to its patrons.

The project is sponsored by the Deschutes Basin Board of Control and the Ochoco Irrigation District, with funding and technical support from the Energy Trust of Oregon, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Farmers Conservation Alliance.

The proposed project is located in Crook County near the City of Prineville.

Members of the public are invited to provide input to help guide planning efforts during a scoping meeting, Sept. 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Carey Foster Hall, located at 1280 S Main Street in Prineville, Oregon.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposed irrigation improvements at the meeting and submit their comments, ideas and concerns.

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 Kristin Alligood (541) 625-0109 or

Public comments may be submitted through October 18, 2019. Comments may be emailed to or submitted online at or mailed to: Farmers Conservation Alliance, 102 State Street, Hood River, OR 97031.

Following the public comment 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 NRCS to apply for funding to construct irrigation improvements through its Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program, also referred to as PL-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to states, local governments and Tribes (project sponsors) to plan and implement authorized watershed project plans for the purpose of watershed protection, flood mitigation, water quality improvements, soil erosion reduction, rural, municipal and industrial water supply, irrigation, water management, sediment control, fish and wildlife enhancement, and hydropower.

For more information about this and other irrigation modernization projects in Oregon, visit  or visit the NRCS Oregon public notice webpage here.


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