September 15, 2020 Water Supply Update and Modified Operations

September 15, 2020


From:  North Unit Irrigation District


To:  North Unit Irrigation District Waterusers


Subject:  September 15, 2020 Water Supply Update and Modified Operations


Just last week, as noticed in the Madras Pioneer, the District was optimistic it would not need to implement modified operations for the balance of the 2020 irrigation season.  Unfortunately, supply conditions have changed dramatically in a matter of days that will require the district to once again implement modified operations similar to those in September 2018.


The district anticipates the Crooked River and Deschutes River flows will taper off beginning this week/weekend resulting in insufficient supplies to maintain the delivery system and the drawdown of Haystack Reservoir.  As a result of these diminished supplies on Tuesday, September 22 the District will temporarily shut down deliveries to all patrons.  Water Orders will be taken until Sunday, September 20 for delivery on Monday, September 21.


Minimal flows will remain in the delivery system to keep the system “primed” but with no deliveries.  On Friday, October 2 the District anticipates Haystack to be filling/full again, picking up the additional natural flow in the Deschutes River.  The District believes this action will allow for another week or more of irrigation beginning on or about Saturday, October 3.  The District will begin taking water orders again on Friday, October 2 with anticipated deliveries on Saturday, October 3.  The District wants to remind patrons that the above operations are subject to ongoing review of supply conditions.


The District cannot emphasize enough that water only be used as necessary and not simply because water remains in a water users account.  In 2018, following a similar announcement, irrigation demand increased dramatically.  If that occurs during this effort it will cause the district to run out of water sooner and take longer to get the system recharged for an early October restart date.  The District also discourages the marketing of water to other patrons who have used their allotment.  Everyone’s cooperation is needed to extend the season.


Please contact the district office should you have any questions.