West Extension Irrigation District is already feeling the effects of the dry winter. There was little to no snow pack in the Blue Mountains, which feed the Umatilla River, so water levels in the River have been steadily declining much sooner than usual. WEID began using the Bureau of Reclamation’s Phase I Pumping Plant to pump Columbia River water into the canal about a month earlier than usual.
Some of this pumped water is “Exchange Water” which is pumped to us at no charge to the District. This equals the amount of water that WEID leaves in the Umatilla River for fish purposes. Any water needed above that amount, up to our allotment, we have to pay for. This money comes out of our budget for pumping costs.
Last year pumping costs both for the main canal and the Irrigon system were much higher than anticipated or budgeted for. This is why the Special Assessment went out at the end of the year. The Board of Directors built that additional $2/acre in to this year’s budget with the anticipation this will cover the additional pumping costs that are associated with such a dry year.
Please review the conservation materials that came with your schedule and look on our Resources page for additional information.
Are you looking to update and improve your current irrigation system, or just thinking about putting in an underground sprinkler system? I found a great webpage that is NOT published by someone who wants to sell you something. It’s just about spreading irrigation information and ideas. There are some great troubleshooting pages there too. Thanks Jess Stryker for the great website!
March winds have finally arrived – better late than never!
Here are the important things to remember:
Check your screens often and keep them clean.
If you get water down a lateral, follow your water from the headgate all of the way to your property. Make sure there are no weeds that have blown in the lateral to affect the flow of water. Keep an eye on the lateral while taking water to insure that it remains clear of debris.
If you have to shut your water off unexpectedly, call the emergency on-call ditchrider at 541-314-0005
WEID has rain gauges available to landowners in order to monitor your water use. This will help you use only the water that your crop (lawn, pasture, corn, etc.) needs. The gauges are available at no charge to you.
You will find the last 7 days of water needed for your crop and the forecast for the next week. Needs will change as the season progresses. Use of your rain gauge will assure you are not putting on too much or too little water for the needs of your crop. Thanks to IRZ Consulting for this helpful service. They are located in Hermiston.