BEND, Ore. - In an effort provide for more reliable flows on the Deschutes River, the federal Bureau of Reclamation said Friday it has entered into an agreement on a southwest Bend canal-piping project with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, the Central Oregon Irrigation District and other entities.
The memorandum of agreement is part of the compliance process necessary for COID to proceed with piping 3,000 feet of their main canal near the crossing of Brookswood Boulevard. Other signatories to the MOA are the Deschutes River Conservancy, the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, and the Coalition for the Deschutes.
COID and other agencies in the Deschutes Basin have been seeking conservation measures that will benefit the Deschutes River, such as providing for more reliable flows to meet the needs of fish and wildlife.
In addition, the agency said, the water conserved by this piping project will remain in-stream to improve flows on the Deschutes River. This 5 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water otherwise would be lost to evaporation and seepage into the fractured basalt formation underlying the canal.
Piping is more economical in the long term, the agency said, and increases public safety for recreationists and motorists by replacing the current open canal with a buried pipe.
The project is expected to begin this month and be completed by April.
COID is coordinating with the Bend Parks and Recreation District to develop future recreational opportunities along the piped section of canal.
In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act, Reclamation completed a final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the piping project, which is available at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/oregon/coid/index.html.
For additional information, please contact Gregg Garnett, Bend Field Office Manager at 541-389-6541, ext. 226 or email@example.com.