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Stewardship and Conservation Awards 2018 – now accepting nominations

The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) is pleased to announce they are accepting nominations for the agency’s 2018 conservation awards program, aimed at recognizing entities that are making the effort to conserve water.

Nominations are currently being accepted until July 31, 2018 for the following categories:

  • Tyler Hansell award for efficiency in agriculture;
  • Best water reuse project or program;
  • Best conservation program – large municipalities and water suppliers that serve more than 1000 people;
  • Best conservation program – small municipalities and water suppliers that serve less than 1000 people; and
  • Best conservation program – commercial or industrial.

The 2018 award winners will be announced at a future Water Resources Commission meeting. A review of the 2017 awards program, including the award winners and their achievements can be found below.

For additional information, or for the official nomination form, please contact Kerri H. Cope or Chris Kowitz. 

To obtain the nomination form please click here.

Stewardship and Conservation Awards 2017

The Oregon Water Resources Department’s Conservation Awards Program annually recognizes entities that have shown an outstanding commitment to water conservation and responsible water management.  The program includes three awards that recognize water users from around the state that have made water conservation and management an integral part of their day-to-day operations.  

The “Tyler Hansell Agricultural Water Efficiency Award” was created in 2008 in memory of Commissioner Tyler Hansell, who served as an Oregon Water Resources Commissioner from 1994 to 2005. This annual award is given to a recipient that has demonstrated leadership in the area of agricultural water management, increasing the efficiency of water use, while continuing to support agriculture as a vital part of Oregon’s economy.

The Oregon Water Resources Department is pleased to announce the 2017 winners:

Best Water Management and Conservation Plan submitted by a municipal water supplier that serves less than 1000 people:

Arch Cape Domestic Water Supply District

Arch Cape Domestic Supply District currently serves a full-time population of 150. Over the last 10 years the District has made significant progress in serving its residents and implementing numerous water conservation measures. Progress made in combining service and conservation needs includes the construction of a 520,000 gallon glass-lined steel reservoir, the installation of new radio-read meters throughout the District, the construction of a new membrane surface water treatment plant, upgrading outdated section of distribution piping, and the construction of the Asbury Creek Water Intake. The District also adopted a rate structure that encourages conservation through a multi-tiered rate schedule, established for customer accounts with excessive monthly water consumption. 

Best Water Management and Conservation Plan submitted by a municipal water supplier that serves more than 1,000 people:

City of Prineville

The City of Prineville was nominated by Apple, Inc. for their commitment over the last 9 years to conserving water. In 2008 the City launched an initiative to reduce its non-revenue water from a high of 28% to below 10% in 2016. The City prioritized replacement of old wooden mainlines that likely leaked and replaced approximately four (4) miles of pipeline by 2014. To improve water accounting, the City began conducting annual water audits and informal monthly water audits, installed meters on unmetered connections, installed a computerized bulk water station, began replacing all residential meters with automatic metered reading (AMR) meters, and installed new billing software to monitor consumption readings for signs of potential leaks.  As a result of these efforts, the City reduced its non-revenue water from a high of 28% in 2008 to 1.9% in 2016.

Best Water Management and Conservation Plan/or project submitted by an agricultural water supplier:

Dillon Dam Project

The Dillon Dam Removal Project resulted in irrigation efficiency measures by piping a 1 ½ mile long open irrigation ditch. It consolidated two large diversion dams (Westland and Dillon) on the Umatilla River into one location to meet fish passage needs. OWRD operated a gage station on the Dillon Canal that was recently shut down because the pipeline now has a flowmeter. This project benefited the community as a whole by increased operation and irrigation efficiency (dam operation has ceased as water is now controlled in pipe which prevents seepage loss); removal of a significant fish barrier; water quality improvement by supporting the City of Echo’s effluent discharge; and increased recreational opportunities by removal of the dam that prevented boater access.

In addition, the implementation of this project required the cooperation and support of OWRD,  Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Transportation, Umatilla Basin Watershed Council, Bonneville Power Administration, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Westland Irrigation District, Oregon State Police, Dillon Irrigation Company, Courtney Irrigation District, Landowners - Mike and Patsy Taylor, City of Echo, and NOAA Fisheries. 

Tyler Hansell Agricultural Efficiency Award:

City of Hermiston/West Extension Irrigation District (WEID) reclaimed water project

This project solved a problem for both the City of Hermiston and the West Extension Irrigation District. The City of Hermiston received multiple warnings from DEQ that they were not meeting the temperature discharge requirements of their DEQ Wastewater Discharge Permit. The West Extension Irrigation District needed additional water to meet the needs of their patrons. Through a joint effort between the City of Hermiston, WEID, and BOR, the City of Hermiston was able to pipe their wastewater into the irrigation canals of WEID at an average rate of 1.2 mgd, solving a problem for both entities.  

Click here to see previous award recipients