2013 Archived News

12-17-13 - FID and Tribal Cooperation to Help Restore and Protect Lamprey
In 2009, preliminary data was collected in the Hood River downstream of Powerdale Dam at River Kilometer (Rkm) 6.6 to develop a juvenile lamprey distribution map prior to dam removal. Lack of adequate passage facilities at Powerdale Dam was believed to have eradicated lampreys from areas upstream. In 2011, The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon (CTWSRO) began a multiple year feasibility project -- Determine Status and Limiting Factors of Pacific Lamprey, Entosphenus tridentatus, in Fifteenmile Creek and Hood River Subbasins, Oregon -- intended to develop a monitoring protocol for adult lamprey and the potential for re-colonization of the Hood River Subbasin. Read more...

10-11-13 - New Case Study Released on Hydropower Generation Potential Within Existing Irrigation Infrastructure Read complete article and case study at farmerscreen.org/study/

09-30-13 - 2013 Irrigation Season Officially Ends
Per state law, irrigation season in the Hood River Basin stretches from April 15th to September 30th. With the end of irrigation season, FID contractors have commenced construction on the Farmers Canal Pipeline project. Farmers Canal Pipeline construction will stretch from October 1st to November 1st, with substantial cleanup activities occurring November through December, bringing FID's hydropower season into full swing. During construction, FID spray water supply may be impacted in your area. Read more...

09-05-13 - User Group Q&A - August/September 2013
Click here to download the PDF file.

06-26-13 - FID Teams with University of Oregon, Landscape Architecture to Develop Sediment Management Research Click here to download the PDF file.

06-13-13 - Water Conservation Serves Us All
Even when much of the economy is faltering, irrigated agriculture remains one of the largest economic engines in the Western U.S. Water conservation measures are part of that success and something we are very proud of.

For the 17 Western states alone, the total household income impacts derived from the irrigated agriculture industry, which is made up of direct irrigated crop production, agricultural services, and the food processing and packaging sectors, is estimated to be about $128 billion annually. Supplying a safe and reliable supply of our nation's food, feed, fuel and fiber, while remaining globally competitive is a large, but realistic goal for our nation's agricultural producers.

Efficiently irrigating crops is not only part of this solution, but it also responsibly uses one of our nation's most valued natural resources: water.

Thanks to all FID patrons who do their part to help us conserve water!

04-05-13 - Irrigation Status Update

01-29-13 - FID Featured in January 2013 Irrigation Leader Magazine
Click here to read the article (PDF)

2012 Archived News

12-11-12 - Voluntary Carbon Offset Retirement Fund for Water & Power Purveyors
Farmers Irrigation District (FID) has established the nation's first-ever Voluntary Carbon Offset Retirement Fund for Water & Power Purveyors. As a result of its operations and maintenance, FID adds an estimated 120 metric tons (or 264,555 pounds) of carbon to the Earth's atmosphere every year. However, because FID produces approximately 24,000 megawatt hours (24,000 MWh, which is the equivalent of 24,000 RECs, which are Renewable Energy Certificates) of green, carbon-neutral, renewable energy every year, we offset an estimated total of 51,810,960 pounds of carbon each year – over 195 times greater than our operational carbon footprint. Even small infrastructure improvements, water delivery efficiency gains, and streamlined operation and maintenance procedures equate to very large reductions in global carbon over time.

Farmers Irrigation District attempts to sell the balance of its annually produced Renewable Energy Certificates (1 REC = 1 MWh) to enhance revenues for water conservation, in-stream flow projects, and to help others offset their carbon footprints each year. But we don't sell our surplus RECs without first setting aside and retiring RECs to make sure that we keep it green here at home. As it turns out, one REC from FID offsets just about one metric ton of carbon. So, FID voluntarily retires enough RECs (about 120 of them) each year to stay completely carbon neutral. Other agencies with such renewable resources can easily make an example of being carbon neutral as well by contributing their share to this fund -- the Voluntary Carbon Offset Retirement Fund for Water & Power Purveyors -- or any other fund of their choice. Once RECs are retired to this voluntary offset fund, they can never be used again. In this way, we keep the carbon offsets authentic.

Certified green renewable hydropower really works for the common good. It neutralizes our carbon footprint, helps pay the bills for irrigated agriculture, creates and maintains local jobs, and supports millions of dollars worth of conservation-based in-stream and water delivery capital improvement projects. The more our efficiencies climb, the healthier our environment becomes, and the more our water patrons benefit.

Click here to download the PDF file.

For more information please contact Jer Camarata at jer@fidhr.org

11-15-12 - 2012-2013 Winter Preparation
Winter is rapidly approaching and the nights are once again getting cold. It's time to begin winterizing your vulnerable water lines, pipelines, boxes, sprinkler systems, and pumps; just a few of the items that need winterization attention during those cold months.

Pipelines can be especially susceptible to freezing during winter months. Whether they are metal, PVC, or concrete, they can freeze and break if not drained properly in the fall. Open the drains and petcocks and let them empty before the really cold weather sets in.

Sprinkler systems should be drained or blown out so water does not remain in low areas and freeze in those places. There should also be drains at the ends of the lines to collect and allow any excess water to escape. Some systems with larger sprinklers have drains located at the sprinkler heads that need to be opened.

A small amount of environmentally friendly anti-freeze applied to empty reservoirs or lines can also help prevent left over water from freezing in troublesome spots. Any valves that operate with your system should also be drained and opened up.

You may have other types of equipment and property needing quick attention before the really cold weather hits, but if in doubt, ask around and feel free to call the District office for advice on how to best winterize your private system. Be prepared ahead of time and protect your valuable investments. An ounce of prevention now can pay dividends in the future.

Public Notice
Throughout the area in which Farmers Irrigation District (FID) operates public traffic and activities that encroach on FID’s easements, property, and infrastructure are becoming a serious concern to FID’s operations and safety.
Consequently, until further notice “No Trespassing” signs will be posted on FID property where a concern for public safety and protection of sensitive infrastructure is mandated.  Specifically, FID plans to post signs on its dams, spillways, canal banks, pipelines, bridges, power plants, and water diversions.
Of particular concern to FID is Kingsley Reservoir dams and spillways. Due to growing public safety concerns, costs, and responsibility associated with dam maintenance and repair, FID has closed all traffic on Upper and Lower Kingsley Reservoir dams and spillways until further notice. Violation of these “No Trespassing” restrictions can result in criminal prosecution and fines in excess of $1,000 per occurrence. 

08-21-12 - Notice to FID Middle District Water Users
This October 2012, FID is piping approximately 2.65 miles of Low Line Canal. Due to the enormous scope of work for this construction project, it is necessary that District staff begin safely draining the canal on September 29th, two (2) days before the end of the official irrigation season. Pending unforeseen pipeline construction delays and weather, we hope to turn water into the new pipeline by October 15th, 2012 or very soon thereafter. Upon project completion we will be in a position to supply spray water by request. Why are we piping the canal? Last winter's massive ice storm caused hundreds of large trees to destroy Low Line Canal's ability to safely and reliably deliver water. Since the January 2012 Ice Storm, FID has already had four canal failures. These continued failures will eliminate the physical ability to deliver water and will severely compromise the fiscal well-being of District orchardists, farmers, and FID if not addressed. Originally built in the 19th century, Low Line Canal is no longer a safe and reliable canal. Because rebuilding the earthen canal is cost prohibitive, large pipe is our only surefire way to mitigate against future catastrophe. We apologize for any inconvenience that this early shut down may cause. However, by piping this system we will have built a much safer, efficient, and reliable water delivery system to your land for generations to come.

08-21-12 - Canal Safety Notice
Canals are inherently dangerous and should not be used for recreational activities. Even if the water appears smooth and calm, there are many areas where the current can swiftly pull a pet or individual under - especially a child. The Farmers Canal, canal bank, and canal access roads near your house are considered private property and are not for public use.

The Farmers Canal near or on your property also poses an inherent risk to workers or people on ATVs, tractors, or trucks that could inadvertently roll into the canal. Should any type of vehicle or machinery ever accidentally end up in the canal, please call Farmers Irrigation District immediately as:

Further, the Farmers Canal near your home is very old. Originally built 114 years ago, it has experienced many types of damage. During the January, 2012 Ice Storm, hundreds of falling trees compromised the integrity of many parts of the canal bank. Because of these numerous factors, FID staff are using extreme caution through low-impact canal maintenance and operation techniques. FID is aggressively working towards enclosing the Farmers Canal safely in pipe to avoid future issues, and we appreciate your support. If you have any questions, we encourage you to call us and ask!

FID Inquiries 541-387-5261

06-12-12 - Large Pipe Facilities Project; Lowline Phase - 2012 Construction
Farmers Irrigation District's (FID) mission is to promote ecologically, socially, and financially sustainable agriculture by providing energy and irrigation service for the common good. To fulfill this mission, the district has constructed many large water conservation projects throughout the years. This winter's massive ice storm caused hundreds of large trees to destroy Low Line Canal's ability to reliably deliver irrigation and hydropower water. It is likely that Low Line will continue to fail if not replaced very soon. Since the January 2012 Ice Storm, we've already had 4 canal failures. These continued failures will eliminate the physical ability to deliver water and will severely compromise the fiscal well-being of District orchardists and FID.

On April 18th, 2012, the FID Board made the unanimous decision to borrow the required funds and hire the engineers and contractors needed to completely enclose Low Line and a lower segment of Farmers Canal in large diameter pipe. Built in the 19th century, Low Line is no longer a safe and reliable canal. Rebuilding the canals is cost prohibitive, and pipe is our only surefire way to ensure against future catastrophe. While these large pipe projects will cost District water users extra money, there is no other economically and ecologically viable option. Protecting our water supply and delivery systems through pipe remediation is the responsible thing to do.

Through a combination of tight budgeting, operational cuts, increased efficiencies, and the opportunity to borrow money at very low interest, FID plans to begin construction on the Low Line and parts of the lower Farmers Canal in October 2012. Field tours of the project will be available to anyone in the public that expresses interest.

To continue water service at the levels our water users expect, and to adequately cover the associated debt service, irrigation assessments are scheduled to ramp up to $110/acre by 2015. Assessment increases will be phased in over a three year period beginning in 2013, at $17 increments, per the following chart:

  2013 2014 2015
Total Irrigation Assessment per acre $76/ac $93/ac $110/ac
Project Fund Account Fee $200 $200 $200
*Total Bill for Irrigation Season for Someone with 1 Acre of Water Rights $276 $293 $310

*Irrigation season is approximately 180 days. Therefore, the patron having 1 acre of water rights in 2015 will be paying approx $1.72 per day for pressurized, filtered, irrigation water. The same patron now pays approx $1.44 per day. Said another way, by 2015 their assessment will have risen by $0.28 per day over the approximate 180 day irrigation season.

FID is proud of our century-long efforts in innovative efficiencies and environmental protection, and we plan on continuing to be the leader in irrigation management by aggressively raising the bar in sustainable agriculture, power production, fish screening standards, and water conservation. Only through wise water usage and fiscal responsibility can we accomplish our goals and meet the increasing demands of our future.

06-12-12 - Large Pipe Facilities Project; Lowline Phase - 2012 Construction
RFP will be announced mid July, construction to commence October 1st, Irrigation Assessment rates to increase.
FID LPFP Announcement
Lowline Canal Pipe Project

04-02-12 - How Local Ingenuity and FEMA Money Built "A Better MouseTrap"
Mother Nature can be awesome, and not always in a good way. Just ask the Farmers Irrigation District in Oregon's Hood River County. Mother Nature has taken out their structures and, in 1996, led them to the brink of bankruptcy. Read more... (PDF file)

03-07-12 - Damage Incurred During Severe Winter Storm
The District experienced a significant amount of damage during this year's severe winter storm. On March 2, 2012, President Obama issued a major disaster declaration for the State of Oregon triggering the release of Federal funds to help communities such as ours recover from the severe winter storm. District officials are working with the proper authorities on such matters while District crew has diligently been working hard through adverse conditions to clear debris and make all necessary repairs prior to irrigation season. While we are working hard to get District infrastructure repaired and primed, please inspect your own private irrigation systems and look for signs of broken pipes prior to irrigation season. Below are a few pictures from the winter storm.

Click on an image and the lightbox will pop up: Click on Next or Previous to navigate:

Ice storm

05-02-11 - FID Certified by the California Energy Commission
Farmers Irrigation District has been listed on the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS), which is an independent, renewable energy tracking system for the region covered by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC). WREGIS tracks renewable energy generation from units that register in the system using verifiable data and creates renewable energy certificates (RECs) for this generation. WREGIS Certificates can be used to verify compliance with state and provincial regulatory requirements (Renewable Portfolio Standards, for example) and in voluntary market programs.

05-02-11 - FID Listed on WREGIS
Farmers Irrigation District has been certified by the California Energy Commission (CEC) as eligible for California's Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). Through this CEC certification, the District is now eligible to sell its renewable energy certificates (RECs) to the California RPS market. California is still finalizing this process, but, if all goes well, the sale of renewable energy certificates to California could result in substantial revenue to the District. These REC dollars, if any are actually realized, will be dedicated to completing the last of the District's large pipe projects and the reservoir enhancement project.

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