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Irrigation Efficiency and Water Management
Water Management/Irrigation Improvement Effectiveness Monitoring
In December 2006 OWEB met with the Water Resources Departments, watershed councils, SWCDs, Department of Agriculture, Oregon Water Trust, Natural Resources Conservation District, OSU, and Deschutes River Conservancy to discuss how to evaluate irrigation efficiency and water management projects. This was the first step as OWEB moves forward in the development of its irrigation efficiency/water management effectiveness monitoring program. Several next steps were identified at the meeting, including:
  1. Clearly define what OWEB means by irrigation efficiency.
  2. Create a draft of OWEB’s irrigation efficiency restoration and monitoring objectives.
  3. Draft monitoring standards for irrigation efficiency effectiveness monitoring projects.
  4. Find out what data is out there and does not need to be recreated. (This has been completed for the Malheur Basin, see link below.)
In addition to the OWEB directed irrigation efficiency/water management effectiveness monitoring, OWEB has funded several irrigation improvement restoration projects that are doing effectiveness monitoring. Two of these projects, Willow Creek Restoration (207-138) and Middle Deschutes Streamflow Restoration (207-096 and 207-319) are doing both water quality and water quantity effectiveness monitoring. Stay turned for future updates on these and other projects. 
Project types and examples include:

Reduce water loss in irrigation delivery
Irrigation systems for improved water conservation
  • Installation of soil moisture probes
  • Irrigation system improvements (i.e.  flood to sprinkler, sprinkler to drip)
Irrigation systems for improved water quality
  • Installation of pump-back system
  • Construction of settling ponds or wetlands to capture/filter irrigation runoff
  • Irrigation system improvements (i.e. flood to sprinkler, sprinkler to drip)
Protection of instream flow
  • Protection of instream flow through leases or transfers

Malheur County Summary
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