Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District
Mark Your Calendar!
Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District (DSWCD) Meetings:
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 issue the Deshutes SWCD monthly meetings will be held via ZOOM. Please contact Jeff Rola at 541-408-7024 for access to the board meetings.
The Deschutes SWCD meets the 3rd Thursday of the month from 9:00AM - 12:00PM .
** Hot Topics **
Small Grant Projects
Awards are available up to $15,000 for private landowners to perform restoration projects on their land. These grants allow for quick implementation.
If you have a project in mind or would like to discuss possibilities, give us a call:
541-923-4358 ext. 3190
Maintaining Water in the Deschutes
After The Fire
Wickiup Reservoir, which stores water for thousands of ranchers and farmers in Central Oregon, has been drained to the max. As farmers attempt to manage water cutbacks, biologists are also faced with potentially dire circumstances for fish and wildlife in the area.
Water from Wickiup Reservoir is siphoned out of the Deschutes River and channeled across miles of canals to reach farms from Bend to Madras. Prolonged drought has reduced the amount of water flowing into the reservoir each spring, resulting in lower water rations for farms across the region. To reduce water loss and maintain stream flows in the Upper Deschutes River is challenging and complex. Modernizing Oregon's irrigation systems can involve unexpected complications yet have benefit to improve stream flows in the Deschutes River.
On June 15th Deschutes County Commissioners unanimously approved a Drought Declaration due to low river flows and some of the lowest storage levels ever recorded in area reservoirs.
Most of Deschutes County is categorized as a severe drought area. As a landowner in Deschutes County, this can be a troubling time. It's also an opportunity that provides awareness to our counties water management and steps that landowners can take to prepare for future drought or low water years. We can work together to improve our water management practices for future usage. This link can provide additional information on drought conditions in Oregon.