The Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) has chosen Taylor Northwest, LLC (TNW) as the construction manager/general contractor for phase on of the Pilot Butte Canal Piping Project.
TNW will be responsible for acting as a consultant in the design and construction of up to 8.1 miles of large-diameter pipeline beginning in the Smith Rock area and continuing south toward NE King Way in Redmond. Work is expected to start in 2020 with the first phase scheduled to be completed in 2022.
The total cost for phase one will be between $31 and $35 million.
“Taylor Northwest is proud to partner with Central Oregon Irrigation District and its project team to complete this important project,” Todd Taylor CEO of Taylor Northwest said in a statement released Thursday. “As a local contractor we are excited to engage our talent and resources for the benefit of our local economy, environment, and agricultural partners.”
The piping project is part of COID’s System Improvement Plan to implement water conservation practices and support sustainable agriculture. The volcanic nature of the Central Oregon geology results in the propensity for seepage losses in many areas of the COID canal system. During the irrigation season, COID loses up to 50 percent of water to evaporation and seepage from canals and laterals. Piped canals mitigate these losses and conserve a significant portion of the water.
The Pilot Butte Canal in the Smith Rock area provides the greatest opportunity to make significant improvements to COID’s irrigation system. When piped, the main canal will conserve 30 cubic feet per second (cfs) upon completion to the Deschutes River while creating operating efficiencies for 638 patrons.
“We don’t have a water shortage issue. We have water management issue and piping gives us the tool to get the water when we need it, where we need it,” said Paul Kasberger Redmond farmer and COID board member.
Piping the entire length of the Pilot Butte Canal will occur in stages over the next 30 years and result in a savings of 158 cfs by eliminating seepage and evaporation and 69 cfs in on-farm efficiencies.
Once fully piped, the pressurized water will eliminate the need for 50% of the pumps COID patrons use to irrigate their farms (about 1,000 pumps), saving patrons additional operational costs in the form of new pumps, maintenance, and energy.
COID is implementing a variety of conservation methods including piping, on-farm irrigation efficiencies, and market tools.
“We’re taking a long view of our irrigation system to ensure reliable access to water for the next 100 years,” said Craig Horrell COID District Manager. “Modernizing irrigation district operations is key to freeing up water to restore streamflow to the river.”
The Pilot Butte Canal piping project is funded through the Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Program and Oregon Lottery funds.