Irrigation diversions can dry up river in summer
BEND, Ore. – (Update: Funding amount not disclosed)
The Deschutes River Conservancy announced Wednesday that its water leasing program has just secured funding from Intel Corp. that will be used to protect 81 million gallons a year in the Middle Deschutes River downstream from Bend during the peak summer irrigation season.
For over 100 years, the organization said, summer flows and water temperatures in the Middle Deschutes have been heavily impacted by upstream irrigation diversions during the hot summer months.
Intel said some of the state’s largest irrigation diversions heavily impacts the river during the summer, causing poor water quality, inadequate habitat to support healthy native trout populations, and a decline in overall river health.
The conservancy’s water leasing program works collaboratively with irrigation districts and farmers to voluntarily leave their water instream for an agreed-upon period, thereby restoring flows in the river.
The Deschutes River Conservancy said its program restores over 14 billion gallons of water per year (60 cubic feet per second) to the Deschutes River Basin, and 30 percent of the summer flows in the Middle Deschutes.
“Intel’s generous long-term commitment will help the Deschutes River Conservancy move closer to its instream restoration goal of 250 cubic feet per second,” the announcement of Intel’s 10-year pledge of support stated.
A conservancy spokeswoman said Intel has a policy of not disclosing the dollar amounts involved in such investments.
Water is essential to manufacturing semiconductors at Intel, and over the last two decades, the corporation has conserved billions of gallons of water and returned approximately 80 percent of their water use back to their communities through sustainable water management efforts, investments and partnerships.
Now with a broader focus, Intel is working toward restoring 100 percent of its global water use by 2025.
In addition to the Deschutes River, Intel is supporting […]