A major irrigation project in Terrebonne broke ground Friday. The Arnold, North Unit and Ochoco irrigation districts are working on a series of upgrades and piping of irrigation canals in their respective districts.
The districts say the project will convert open ditch irrigation canals into a piped and pressurized system that will conserve water, improve resource reliability and agricultural resilience, increase public safety, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Deschutes River watershed.
The $120 million project will also improve water delivery to local farmers and ranchers.
“So, in order for us to be the best stewards of this precious resource, putting it into a pipe and burying it will help us in the long run to not only conserve water, to be the best stewards that we can,” said North Unit Irrigation District General Manager Josh Bailey.
“It feels like now we’ve created an energy that is an immovable object and we’re going to see this thing go. And it’s just going to happen,” said Ochoco Irrigation District Manager Bruce Scanlon.
These modernizations are scheduled to be completed by 2026 and in 2029 for the North Unit Irrigation District project.