BEND, OR -- Despite heavy rainfall and several spring storms, persistent dry conditions could force Central Oregon irrigation districts to curtail water as early as mid-July, due to the dwindling natural flow in the Deschutes River.
"Districts relying solely on live flow are expected to experience water shortages, while those utilizing stored water will need to rely on these supplies,” said Craig Horrell, President of Deschutes Basin Board of Control. “Ultimately, this means reduced water availability for district patrons, as well as impacts on fish and wildlife." Arnold, Tumalo, Central Oregon and Lone Pine irrigation districts say they will adjust flows accordingly and urge irrigators to proactively plan for water supply shortages.
The Deschutes Basin Watermaster says the significant winter snowpack has not resulted in the runoff needed to increase river flows.