Watershed Planning

Public Comment Period Closed for Tumalo Watershed Plan

A Draft Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA) has been released for the Tumalo Irrigation District Irrigation Modernization Project.  The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) developed the Draft Plan-EA in partnership with Tumalo Irrigation District, the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, and Farmers Conservation Alliance. View the Notice of Availability and News Release from NRCS.  

The comment period for the Draft Plan-EA was from April 16, 2018 to May 22, 2018. 

A public meeting was held on:

May 8, 2018

6:00 – 7:30 PM

Cascades Academy

19860 Tumalo Reservoir Road

Bend, OR 97703 

The purpose of the meeting was to inform the community of the Draft Plan-EA and to gather public comments. 

The Draft Plan-EA and other relevant documents are available on this website on the Project Information page. Limited copies of the Draft Plan-EA are also available at the Deschutes Public Library in Bend, the NRCS office in Redmond, and the Tumalo Irrigation District office.

Comments could be sent to wsp@tumalo.org


Comments could be mailed to:

Farmers Conservation Alliance

Tumalo Watershed Plan

11 3rd St, Suite 101

Hood River, OR 97031 

Please note: Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment –including your personal identifying information –may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so. Further information on the public involvement process can be found at the Council of Environmental Quality's Citizens Guide to NEPA.

Overview of the Irrigation Modernization Projects

Several irrigation districts in the Deschutes Basin are working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, Farmers Conservation Alliance (FCA), and other stakeholders to develop Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessments that support irrigation modernization and provide local environmental benefits.

The proposed projects for Central Oregon Irrigation District, Swalley Irrigation District, and Tumalo Irrigation District would convert open irrigation canals to piped and pressurized systems. The proposed projects would:

  1. Support existing agriculture through improved water delivery reliability,
  2. Improve water conservation in district conveyance systems,
  3. Reduce operation and maintenance costs for farmers and the districts,
  4. Enhance habitat for fish and aquatic species in the Deschutes Basin by permanently conserving water instream,
  5. Improve public safety by eliminating risks from open canals.

Public participation is essential to the watershed planning and environmental review process. It helps irrigation districts and agencies make informed decisions that consider the full range of environmental effects and alternative solutions. Learn more about the proposed projects on the Project Information pages.

NRCS initiated the watershed planning process for these projects on June 16, 2017. For more information please see the announcement at NRCS Public Notices and the NRCS News Release on June 19, 2017.  

The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) manages the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program, authorized by Congress in 1954. The purpose of this program is to provide technical and financial assistance to public entities for planning and implementing authorized projects that:

  • Protect watersheds,
  • Mitigate floods,
  • Improve water quality,
  • Reduce soil erosion,
  • Enhance fish and wildlife habitat, 
  • Create opportunities for hydroelectric power production.

In 2017, Congress appropriated $150 million to the NRCS Watershed Program. In partnership with the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, several irrigation districts in central Oregon are applying for funding from this program to complete water conservation and modernization projects. In order to qualify for funding, irrigation districts must have:

  1. A final Watershed Plan-Environmental Assessment (Plan-EA); and
  2. Match funding (non-federal).

The purpose of this website is to provide the public information about the Watershed Plan-EAs and how to get involved in the planning process.