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News Release

Final plans approved for East Fork Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project

News Release #: 2020-07-039

Contact: Margi Hoffmann, Farmers Conservation Alliance
Community Relations Director
Email: margi.hoffmann@fcasolutions.org
Phone: 541-716-6085
 

Hood River, OR (July 22, 2020) - Plans to modernize East Fork Irrigation District’s irrigation infrastructure have been approved to move forward into construction.

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has released a Final Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact for the East Fork Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project. NRCS has determined that the project will not cause significant local, regional or national impacts to the environment.

The project is a joint effort among NRCS, East Fork Irrigation District, Bonneville Power Administration, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Hood River Watershed Group, Energy Trust of Oregon, Farmers Conservation Alliance and in coordination with other agencies, stakeholders, and the public.

With a completed Plan-EA in place, the project is now eligible for federal funding and may move forward into construction.

The Plan-EA and other supporting documents for this project are available at www.oregonwatershedplans.org/east-fork-id.

The project will pipe 56 miles of District-owned canals and laterals and will conserve water, reduce energy use, improve operational efficiencies, improve water delivery reliability, increase public safety, enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Hood River watershed, and reduce sediment in irrigation water.

By converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-piped systems, the project will eliminate water losses from end spills, saving an estimated 16.6 cubic feet per second, or 5,287 acre-feet annually. The District will allocate 75 percent of the saved water, or up to 12.45 cubic feet per second, to instream use during the irrigation season.

The project may be partially funded through the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations Program, administered by NRCS and authorized by Public Law 83-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations for planning and carrying out 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.

For more information about this project and other irrigation modernization efforts, visit www.oregonwatershedplans.org or visit the NRCS Oregon public notice webpage at www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/or/newsroom/pnotice/.