January 10, 2023

Merkley, Wyden Announce Nearly $200,000 Coming to Oregon for Water Efficiency Projects

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced that $198,668 is coming to Oregon from the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for project to improve water efficiency in Bend, Morrow County, and Klamath County. 

“Reliable water supply is vital for communities, farmers and ranchers, and for many iconic wildlife species?to thrive,” said Merkley. “I’m pleased these funds are going to help improve water efficiency improvements in Oregon’s agriculture industry so there’s more water to go around. Ensuring that every community has up to date water infrastructure will benefit Oregonians across the state, and I will keep working to secure federal resources to make these vital water infrastructure projects affordable for every community that needs them.”?  

“I have heard from communities around Oregon about their desperate need for reliable water infrastructure that supports both agricultural goals and conservation efforts,” Wyden said. “I am gratified to see these important investments in water efficiency for Deschutes, Morrow and Klamath counties go toward increasing water efficiency, managing flow rates and preventing seepage into the soil so that communities can better plan for their water use.”

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is awarding $7 million for 82 local community projects across the country, including measuring water flow, automating water delivery, or lining canals. This funding is part of the WaterSMART Program, which was provided $1 billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) to support irrigation and water districts, tribes, states and other entities with water or power delivery authority for small water efficiency improvements. 

Information on the awards coming to Oregon can be found below: 

  • Arnold Irrigation District: $28,668 for the River Diversion Gate Automation and Flow Measurement project to modernize the Deschutes River main headgate and allow the district to better manage and measure a highly fluctuating river flow that requires daily adjustments.  
  • Van Brimmer Ditch Company: $100,000 for the Van Brimmer Falvey Road Piping Project, which will convert 1,000 feet of an open canal to 60-inch high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe and will benefit the water supply by eliminating the subterranean seepage, water lost in charging the ditch, and evapotranspiration making more of its water available in the lower end of its system.  
  • West Extension Irrigation District: $70,000 for the Canal Automation and Monitoring Project, which will install three automatic supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) controlled gates within its Relocation Canal and provide continual monitoring capabilities and automatic adjustment of flow rates to decrease daily water consumption.