Page 23

reduces the amount of irrigation water lost through ground fissures and evapotranspiration. A percentage of the water saved by piping can be returned to the Deschutes River to assist with the river restoration goals of several organizations and government agencies. Irrigation districts sometimes receive partial funding from these organizations and agencies to assist with the piping projects in exchange for the water returned to the river.

Environmental Impacts

Since the formation of irrigation districts a century ago, environmental values, sciences and laws have developed and changed significantly. Seven Central Oregon irrigation districts have formed a coalition called the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC) to allow the districts to work together as a unit in implementing water conservation projects, providing educational resources, utilizing equipment and for other joint purposes. The DBBC, working with the City of Prineville, are developing a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to address the endangered fish reintroduction regulations that may affect irrigation district and municipality water uses. The goal of the HCP is to provide the means by which these partners can adapt to environmental changes and to continue to meet the needs of their patrons and customers. irrigation districts administer, distribute, deliver and monitor the proper (beneficial) use of irrigation water under the terms of the water rights which are appurtenant to the lands served by their canal delivery systems. If your property is adjacent to a canal or ditch, that water is not available for use unless there is an irrigation water right for your property.


Be aware that irrigation district easements exist for the operations and maintenance of the irrigation district’s system. District easements often cross private properties. The canals exist for agricultural and industrial purposes and are not open to the public for recreational and other uses.

Canal Piping

In recent years, most Deschutes County irrigation districts have initiated canal piping projects. Canal piping

Deschutes County Rural Living Handbook


Deschutes rlh 2010  
Deschutes rlh 2010