All posts by Lisa Baum

**UPDATE** BOARD MEETING SCHEDULED

Due to a lack of quorum, the meeting has been moved from 9/16/21 to 9/23/21 — see below. All other details are the same.

The Board of Directors of West Extension Irrigation District will hold its monthly business meeting on Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 9:00 am. An Executive Session may be called pursuant to ORS 192.660 to discuss legal issues.

The board meeting will be held at Columbia Improvement District, 501 E. Columbia Ave., Boardman, OR 97818

Due to COVID restrictions, public attendance must be arranged in advance by calling the office at 541-922-3814.

Please call the office at 541-922-3814 if you have any questions.

NOTICE OF BOARD VACANCIES

West Extension Irrigation District will have an election for the following positions: three-year terms beginning January 2022 for Division 4 (East Boardman) and Division 2 (East and South of Irrigon).

Minimum qualifications: qualified elector in division and file district nominating petition by 4:00 pm, Tuesday, October 5, 2021. To inquire about qualifications and/or pick up a Nominating Petition, please contact the district office at 840 E. Highway 730, PO Box 100, Irrigon, OR 87844. Telephone: 541-922-3814.

DROUGHT FORCES EARLY WATER SHUT-OFF IN IRRIGON

For the first time in many years, we will run out of water before the end of the irrigation season. Due to the drought and heat conditions, irrigators used more water than typical and we will run out of water.

IRRIGON WATER SHUT-OFF WILL BE APPROXIMATELY SEPT. 27

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? The water right permit on the Columbia River Pumping Station was issued in 1981. The state authorized up to 4.5 acre-feet of water for each acre of water rights. This is also the District’s allotment for sprinkler irrigation throughout the District. Typically, we use close to the allotment in Irrigon, but we run into October. This year, the use is up to 15% and we will be done early.

WHAT CAN WE DO TO EXTEND THE SEASON? It would take a 50% cut in current use to extend the season. We may be able to pick up a week or two into October if that were to happen. This would mean minimal irrigation by everyone on the system. Less use equals more days to reach the end. The Division St. Pump Station schedule will change effective September 5: The system will be shut down on Sundays and Wednesdays until the end of the season.

If you plan to continue irrigation with your well or City water, make sure you have a backflow prevention device. It is illegal in Oregon to cross-connect the potable and non-potable water. Oregon State Law requires a backflow preventer assembly to be installed between the home’s drinking water piping and irrigation system piping (OAR 333-061-0070).

WILL THE DISTRICT POLICE THE USE? No. We do not have the manpower to do so. Irrigators have to minimize their use on their own. We are all in this together. It is about the total use on the system, not each individual user.

WHAT CAN WE DO IN THE FUTURE? Understand that the water is limited. Know what you are using and make sure you use your water efficiently. Plan ahead in case of drought to limit your irrigation or irrigated area. Purchasing a meter for your system will let you know what you are using and track the water use.

I don’t think anyone anticipated this type of irrigation season. Going into it, we knew we were dry. But those long hot days required more water, and there were many. Moving forward, we can look to Liberty Mutual’s LiMU Emu, “Only take what you need.” The challenge is making our need match what is available.

BUDGET NEWS – PUMPING COSTS: We are all aware that this is an extreme drought. Pumping power costs will be high again this year.
We may be looking at a special assessment this fall to pay these costs. This will come out with your power bill.

CANAL TREATMENT SCHEDULED

West Extension Irrigation District will be treating its main canal for algae and pond weed over the next 2 days.  The treatment will be done in 2 phases:

The upper canal (Phase 1 Inlet to Division Rd. in Irrigon) will be treated with Argos (chelated copper) on Wednesday, August 18th.  Treatment will start at approximately 6 am and last for 6 hours, at a rate of 1 ppm.  This low rate of application means there are no holding restrictions on the water.  This compares to the copper sulfate crystals which are applied at a 5-6 ppm rate and has a lengthy holding time.

The Irrigon and Boardman canals, from Division Rd. in Irrigon to the end spill in Boardman, will be treated with copper sulfate crystals, starting at 11 pm on Tuesday, August 17th at Division Road in Irrigon.  Waters are considered “treated” from 11 pm Tuesday to 7 pm Friday.

For questions or more details, please call the District office at 541-922-3814.  Thank you.

CANAL TREATMENT SCHEDULED

West Extension Irrigation District will be applying the aquatic herbicide “Argos” (liquid chelated copper) in the BOARDMAN canal only (siphon to end) on Tuesday, August 10, 2021.

Treatment will start at approximately 6 am and last for 6 hours. 

Argos targets algae and is applied at the rate of 1 ppm for a 6 hour set.  This low rate of application means there are no holding restrictions on the water.  This compares to the Copper Sulfate Crystals which are applied at a 5-6 ppm rate and have lengthy holding time.

Please call the office with any questions at 541-922-3814.