Irrigation Improvement and Water Management

Agricultural water supply is emerging as a critical natural resource issue. Irrigated agriculture is essential in meeting our food and fiber production needs. As the nation’s largest water user, agriculture accounts for about 80 percent of the country’s annual water consumption.

Irrigation water management encourages the application of water in an amount that meets the need of the growing plant in a manner that avoids extended soil saturation, Leaching of nutrients and runoff. By increasing application precision and reducing the time for irrigating, water can be conserved and energy can be saved.

Agriculture accounts for 88% of the water use in the Deschutes basin. In Deschutes County approximately 66,280 acres are serviced by 5 irrigation districts: Arnold Irrigation District, Central Oregon Irrigation District, Swalley Irrigation DistrictThree Sisters Irrigation District, and Tumalo Irrigation District. These irrigation districts plus three others (Lone Pine, Ochoco, and North Unit) in central Oregon make up the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC). Lands irrigated are mostly pasture and hay land with a small percentage of specialty crops being grown.

The demand for irrigation water is great, and therefore landowners and land managers must be more conservation-minded, using less water to keep more water in stream. That's  where the Deschutes SWCD can help! We can  examine your current irrigation operation and management and develop solutions to be more efficient with your irrigation water. In some cases piping a private lateral could provide a significate water savings to your operation.  Click on this link to see projects!

Water Conservation

Water Conservation

Water has always been a challenge in Central Oregon. Those who came before us carved more than 700 miles of canals out of the dense volcanic rock using horses, shovels and primitive machinery. Today COID face challenges of upgrading a century-old system to best conserve water and serve the needs of their patrons.

Deschutes Basin Board of Control

Deschutes Basin Board of Control

The Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC) is comprised of eight Irrigation Districts including Arnold, Central Oregon, Lone Pine, North Unit, Ochoco, Swalley, Three sister and Tumalo Irrigation Districts. Through the DBBC, formed in 2002, the Districts coordinate and share their respective resources and management assets to conserve water, improve their services for farm and ranch families, and enhance river conditions for wildlife species and recreational opportunities.

Irrigation Modernization

Irrigation Modernization

Several irrigation districts in Oregon are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA), and other stakeholders to develop Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessments that support irrigation modernization and provide local environmental benefits.

Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District   

625 SE Salmon Ave. 

Redmond, OR. 97756

541-923-4358 Ext. 3190

An Equal Opportunity Service Provider and Employer