Where and how to fund your water savings

There are multiple avenues to fund irrigation upgrades in Jefferson County.  Some apply to all and others depend on the location of your property within the region and who provides you power. The presence of funding opportunities have been around for a while, but keeping track of them has always seemed like a fulltime job in itself.

Robert Wallace at Wy’East has heard your call. He has collected all the avenues currently on deck into one roadmap. Click Here!

Currently, there are multiple efforts focused on improving water quality and water quantity within Jefferson County. For local farmers and ranchers, that means an excess of resources and funding focused on improving how on-farm operations. The funding focuses on reducing soil erosion, silty run-off, inefficient irrigation, high energy costs, and more. Groups such as the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District (JCSWCD), the Middle Deschutes Watershed Council (MDWC), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Energy Trust of Oregon, Pacific Power, Central Electric Coop, and partner Wy’East have all been seeking to find and fund projects that reach these goals.


It may not always seem like it, but each complete project contributes to a great tomorrow for all. Follow the links provided in Robert’s handout, or call Lisa at the main North Unit Office to find if there are projects and potential funding for you!


Stay safe this summer!

As the weather heats up, we will all be looking for a place to cool off. But irrigation canals should NOT make the list. Though they look similar to rushing rivers, they have more hidden dangers than what first comes to mind. Irrigation canals have hidden cement structures, slippery moss and sharp rocks, straining barbed fences, syphons and metal gates; all of which create subsurface currents that pull down and overpower even the best of swimmers. Not to mention the chemicals added to the canals to treat aquatic weeds and growth; chemicals that are undetectable but can burn the nose, eyes, and throat.

This warning comes after many drowning deaths in irrigation canals near and far. Some from accidents as valiant as trying to save one’s dog, and getting pulled deeper into the subsurface currents themselves.

The District makes its way through the 2nd-grade classrooms in Jefferson County to educate about the dangers, but that does not mean the message is only meant for them.

In case you or your children missed it, watch the story of Otto the Otter and the boy he could barely save.



There are no alerts (or aquatic treatments) in effect at this time.