Hermiston, OR (August 11, 2022) - Hermiston Irrigation District, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Oregon, and Farmers Conservation Alliance propose to modernize aging infrastructure to conserve water, improve operational efficiencies, improve water quality, enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Umatilla River, reduce public safety risks, and increase recreation opportunities.
By converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-pipe systems or lining the District’s remaining open canals, the proposed Hermiston Irrigation District Modernization Project could reduce conveyance and operational losses over the entire irrigation season and improve the District’s ability to efficiently provide water to its patrons. The proposed project is located in Umatilla County, Oregon.
The project is sponsored by Hermiston Irrigation District, with funding and technical support from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Oregon, Energy Trust of Oregon, and Farmers Conservation Alliance.
Members of the public provided input to help guide planning efforts during a scoping meeting, August 30 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Hermiston Community Center, 415 S. Hwy 395, Hermiston, Oregon 97838.
Participants had an opportunity to learn more about the proposed improvements at the meeting and submit their comments, ideas, and concerns.
Public comments may be submitted through September 30, 2022. Comments may be submitted several ways:
Following the public scoping period, project partners will develop a Draft Watershed Plan - Environmental Assessment. The public will have an opportunity to review the draft plan and provide additional input.
Once complete, the watershed plan will enable the District to apply for funding to construct system improvements through the NRCS Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program, also referred to as PL-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to states, local governments, and Tribes (project sponsors) to plan and implement authorized watershed project plans for the purpose of watershed protection, flood mitigation, water quality improvements, soil erosion reduction, rural, municipal and industrial water supply, irrigation water management, sediment control, and fish and wildlife enhancement.