NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Board of Directors of the North Unit Irrigation District will be conducting their Regular Board of Directors Meeting on Tuesday Setptember 14, 2021 at 8:00 am at the Madras Municipal Airport 2028 NW Berg Drive, Madras, OR  97741.  Any submissions to the board of directors can be made in writing to the district within 48 hours of the board meeting.  


2021 Temporary Water Shut Off

2021 Temporary Water Shut Off Update


At the August 10, 2021 North Unit Irrigation District Board Meeting the board set the 2021 temporary water shut off date and schedule as follows:  The district’s diversion at Wickiup will be shut down between August 18-20.  The last date that ditch riders will make water adjustments will be Friday, August 20, 2021.


The last date that district water users can place a water order is before 5:00 pm on Thursday, August 19, 2021 below Haystack or between 6:30 am and 7:30 am on Friday, August 20, 2021 for water users above Haystack. Deliveries running August 20-21 will be charged 24-hrs of water as a full delivery is expected, but no charge after that as the canal drains.


Water will remain running to those water users who have ordered water until the main canal has drained.  This will not apply to those on pipelines.  We would like to keep pipelines charged during this shutdown period.  Pipelines will be shut-off and locked Monday, August 23.


Expect the temporary shutdown to last until early October.


Please plan your operations accordingly.

Possible COVID-19 Exposure

July 19, 2021

We have been notified that an individual who has been present at NUID office and Tuesday July 13th NUID Board Meeting, has tested positive for COIVID-19.  We are notifying those individuals who appear to have had close contact with the individual, but we want to alert everyone to the possibility of exposure.

If you experience symptoms of COVID-19 illness, please inform your supervisor, and contact your health care provider.  As always, NUID will protect all employee medical information and will disclose it only to the degree such disclosure is strictly necessary.

For more information on COVID-19, including symptoms of which you may want to be aware, please visit the Oregon Heath Authority COVID-19 website of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention COVID-19 Website.

How to “Bunch” Your Orders

As outline in this letter from General Manager Josh Bailey, sent out on July 7, 2021 (please contact the office if you wish to be added to our email list), the following adjustments will be implemented starting July 8, 2021.

In the Special Board Meeting held on July 6, 2021 at 2pm, the Board of Directors made the decision to allow growers to “bunch” their maximum orderable amount into fewer days. For all orders starting July 8, 2021, orders can be bunched into fewer days if called into the office by 3pm the day before. For those who wish to continue to order your 1.5% maximum each day, carry on as usual (below Haystack by 5pm the day before and above Haystack 7:30am the day of the order) for as long as there is water in the account.

How does this work? 

If you were only able 0.10 cfs across 7 days, this equates to 1.40 acre-feet within a Monday-Sunday week (remember 1cfs =~2 acre-feet). An example of bunching an order would be 0.70 cfs in ONE day, or 0.35 cfs in TWO days, etc. The bottom line being, that whatever you order cannot exceed 1.40 acre-feet in a 7-day period from Monday through Sunday.

However, special rules apply:

  1. “Bunch” orders must be made through the main office by 3pm the day before! (Yes, that includes those ordering Above Haystack)
  2. Patrons seeking to switch water orders among turnouts on the same day, especially across ditch rides, must call the office by 3pm the day before!
  3. Patrons cannot exceed the total amount orderable within a week (defined as Monday-Sunday)
  4. Ditchriders still do not work on Sundays. Saturday through Monday is a 48-hr run, patrons cannot turn on Saturday if a 48-hr run exceeds their weekly maximum.
  5. If it is found that an order exceeds a patron’s limit, the turnout will be shut-off immediately, orders can be placed for Monday of the next week.

July 2021 Water Allotment Reduction

Dear North Unit Irrigation District Patrons,


It pains me to write this letter, as I am fully aware of the extremely difficult situation that we find ourselves in.  As you know, on June 21, 2021 the NUID Board of Directors was forced to reduce the allotment from 1.0 acre foot per acre (af/pa) down to 0.90 af/pa for Deschutes River water rights and from 0.50 af/pa down to 0.40 for Crooked River water rights.  By reducing the overall water allotment, the Board of Directors’ goal was to reduce the overall demand on the system and be able to equalize incoming versus outgoing water.  Unfortunately, after reducing the allotment, demand actually increased.


At current demand, Haystack Reservoir will reach dead pool (i.e., no storage capacity) in approximately 7 to 8 days.  At that point, NUID will not be able to meet current demand and will be forced to limit delivery rates.  Going forward, our options are very limited.  When you combine the inflow from our diversion in Bend, the small amount of water being made available to us from Central Oregon Irrigation District, the water we are pumping from the Crooked River, and the additional purchased water from the Deschutes Valley Water District, there is simply not enough water to meet demand, or maintain Haystack Reservoir.


With that as background, the NUID Board of Directors held an emergency meeting yesterday (6/30/21) to discuss options going forward.  The goal of the meeting was twofold:

  1. Reduce the immediate demand on the system.
  2. Extend the available water through the end of August.


The Board determined that a further reduction in the allotment by 0.10 af/pa (down to 0.80 af/pa Deschutes River and 0.30 af/pa Crooked River) and a cap of 1.5% order rate (calculated from available water after the allotment reduction) was necessary.


Here is an example of the order cap:

After the additional 0.10 reduction, let’s say you have 100 acre feet of your allotment remaining.  1.5% of 100 = 1.50 acre feet for 60 days.  1.50 acre feet divided by 2 = 0.75 CFS max orderable amount for 60 days. This 0.75 CFS can be divided among your turn-outs since the cap is imposed on the operator account.


The changes are scheduled to go into effect Saturday July 3, 2021.  We realize that this is far from perfect, but with the limited options, the Board determined it’s the best short-term solution that treats everyone equally.  Once Haystack is at a more stable level the Board will re-evaluate the situation and possibly remove the order cap.


The current situation changes moment by moment and NUID staff will be updating the Board of Directors as the situation continues to unfold.  I will aim to update district patrons as often as possible.


Please attend our Townhall meeting this evening, July 1st, at 6pm in the Mackie Conroy Meeting Room, Jefferson County Fairgrounds, where we will be available to address any of your questions and concerns.



Josh Bailey

General Manager

North Unit Irrigation District

June 2021 Water Allotment Reduction

District Patrons – as communicated previously, early season reports predicted enough water supply to meet the 1 acre-foot allotment for Deschutes River water rights, and the .50 acre-foot allotment for Crooked River water rights for the 2021 irrigation season. Given outside of historical norms supply conditions, implementation of the Habitat Conservation Plan, extreme drought, and above normal heat, the NUID Board of Directors was forced to reduce allotments by .10 acre-foot district wide, effective at 5:00pm today June 21, 2021.


By reducing the allotment, along with remaining NUID storage reserves in Bowman Reservoir, operational water that NUID is receiving from COID, and other sources of water, NUID is projected to extend available water through the middle to end of August.  Please understand conditions change rapidly, and this projection may change.  NUID staff and Board of Directors are monitoring the situation closely and will update water users as quickly as possible.


NUID strongly advises district water users to be very mindful of water supplies, as we begin entering the hotter seasons of the year.


Please feel free to contact the NUID office for additional info.




Josh Bailey

General Manager

North Unit Irrigation District.

“No-Spray” Zone means “You-Spray” Zone

“No-Spray” Zone means “You-Spray” Zone

Putting up “no-spray” signs is not enough to maintain a no-spray zone. Patrons need a no-spray permit from NUID and they need to physically manage the noxious weeds that grow within their designated no-spray zone.

Because most canal roads are easements through private property, the District does respect landowners’ requests to establish “no-spray” zones through their property.  But as of 2020, we require a formal request to acquire a “no-spray permit” that must be approved by the North Unit Board of Directors. Once you complete your No-Spray Permit, and have it approved, we will respect the boundaries of your no-spray zone. Once a “no-spray” zone is established, the responsibility of eradicating weeds within the easement area returns to the landowner. And if weeds are not managed, the repercussions are significant.

Ignoring the Weed Control Ordinance could result in enforcement spraying, fees, and property liens. For a detailed breakdown of penal action, continue here.

Allotment and Start Date Announced

At the North Unit Irrigation District (NUID) Regular Board of Directors Meeting held on March 9, 2021, the NUID board set a tentative irrigation season start date and irrigation supply allotment. Water will begin to be diverted in Bend on Saturday, April 3, with water being available to most NUID water users on Friday, April 9. Water users above Haystack Reservoir (south of Haystack) can begin placing water orders on the NUID Patron Portal (online) or contact their ditch rider by phone between the hours of 6:30am and 7:30am on the morning of Friday, April 9. Water users below Haystack Reservoir (north of Haystack) that want water on Friday, April 9, will need to place their water order on the NUID Patron Portal (online) or call the NUID office the prior day (Thursday, April 8) before 5:00pm. The same water order schedule noted above, 6:30am – 7:30am. above Haystack and before 5:00pm below Haystack, will be followed throughout the irrigation season.
Also, on March 9, 2021, the NUID board of directors set the 2021 irrigation season allotments at 1.00 acre-feet per acre for Deschutes River acres and 0.50 acre-feet per acre for Crooked River acres. This restricted allotment is based on what is projected to be deliverable based on current supplies. NUID will closely monitor water supply conditions throughout the irrigation season and may modify allotments and operations as warranted based on supply conditions.
It goes without saying that this will be yet another challenging and difficult year for NUID and its patrons. Any action water users can take to minimize early season use or demand will help ease the need for early irrigation supply releases from Wickiup Reservoir. Similarly, any measures to conserve water throughout the irrigation season will have a great impact on how the 2021 irrigation season plays out and reservoir storage for the 2022 irrigation season.

Deschutes River Basin HCP

On December 31, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced the completion of the Deschutes River Basin Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP).  Habitat Conservation Plans are voluntary agreements between the Service and landowners, private companies, or other non-federal entities that ensure harmful effects to threatened and endangered species are avoided, minimized, or offset. This HCP is a collaborative strategy to share water resources in the Deschutes Basin, covering irrigation and related water management operations while enhancing fish and wildlife habitat.


The Deschutes River Basin HCP delivers predictability to water managers by providing certainty on a water storage, release, diversion, and return paradigm for the next 30 years in the Deschutes Basin. It accomplishes this goal through a combination of adjusted water management practices, increased funding for conservation projects and in-stream leasing programs, more gradual ramping up and down of the irrigation season releases, support for on-farm water conservation, maintenance of fish screens, and related items — all to better align the water management operations with the life-history needs of covered species.


“When the HCP was first proposed we were warned it would be difficult and time consuming. In hindsight it was all of that and more. Speaking for myself this was a big commitment and the outcome was never certain. We were fortunate to have very good people to assist and advise through the entire process. We also learned an important lesson early on that our best chance for success was to listen to and work with all parties in the basin. With the help of our partners, US Fish and Wildlife, The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, environmental groups, and all the irrigation districts I believe the HCP is the best way forward for the Deschutes Basin.” Martin Richards North Unit Irrigation District Board Chairman

DBHCP Adaptive Management flyer

Habitat Conservation Plan flyer

2020 Brings New HEMP Policies

Since its introduction of the 2018 Farm Bill, federal and state policies regarding industrial hemp have increased in clarity and with it, our policies have formalized as well. Since North Unit Irrigation District is a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation project, our policies must align with state and federal guidelines.

In the June 2020 Board Meeting, the Board of Directors passed a resolution, updating the District’s policies regarding industrial hemp. This policy update can be found on our Operational Guidelines webpage through the Growing and Cultivating Industrial Hemp link.

For the most recent information regarding Oregon State Law, please refer to the Oregon Department of Agriculture