Bureau of Reclamation Announces $3.7 Million of Economic Recovery Funding for Oregon Deschutes Ecosystem Restoration Project

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212

For Release: October 09, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor announced today the award of $3.7 million grant for water conservation projects in central Oregon under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

The ARRA grant will be used by the Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) to improve water quality, fish passage and create habitat enhancements in the Deschutes River system. The DRC-managed projects will refine irrigation water usage through conservation technology and renovations to existing canal systems.

"These water conservation projects will increase flows in the Deschutes River and tributaries, as well as create construction jobs," said Commissioner Connor. "The projects have dual benefits of enhancing water quality, while also increasing river flows to help threatened and endangered fish."

The ARRA grant will provide the DRC with the ability to help local irrigation districts fund water conservation projects. These projects include:

--Three Sisters Irrigation District (TSID) Main Canal Piping - This project involves replacing over 3 and 1/2 miles of the TSID Main Canal with a buried pipeline which will improve the stream flow and water quality conditions in Wychus Creek for fish, wildlife and aquatic habitat.

--Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) Juniper Ridge Piping Project - This project will pipe over 2 miles of open canal with a buried pipeline. COID has agreed to place 100 percent of the conserved water permanently in the Deschutes River downstream of the city of Bend.

--Deschutes Water Banking - The Deschutes Water Bank will acquire irrigation water rights that serve up to 80 acres of land and reallocate those rights to instream purposes.

--Crook County Improvement District Canal Piping Project - This involves piping nearly 10 miles of porous canals, resulting in up to 4,400 acre feet of water to remain in the Deschutes River system to benefit fish.

The purposes of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are, among others, to quickly and prudently commence activities that preserve and create jobs and to promote economic recovery, and to invest in infrastructure. Recovery Act funding must be obligated by September 30, 2010.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has pledged quick and responsible implementation of the $3 billion in recovery funds that will be used by the Department of the Interior and its agencies.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on www.recovery.gov and on www.interior.gov/recovery.

Secretary Salazar has appointed a Senior Advisor for Economic Recovery, Chris Henderson, and an Interior Economic Recovery Task Force. Henderson and the Task Force will work closely with the Department of the Interior's Inspector General to ensure that the recovery program is meeting the high standards for accountability, responsibility and transparency that President Obama has set.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

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