Farmers Irrigation District strives to promote ecologically, socially, and economically
sustainable agriculture by providing energy and irrigation service for the common good
6-21-21 Funds Available for Irrigation System Upgrades, Soil Moisture Monitoring, and More
6-9-21 Grants Available for Irrigation System Upgrades
6-1-21 FID to Modernize Irrigation Infrastructure Virtual Public Scoping Meeting June 16, 2021
FID and project partners propose to modernize irrigation infrastructure to increase water conservation, water conveyance, and operation efficiency in District owned-infrastructure. By converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-pipe systems, and improving other infrastructure, the proposed Farmers Irrigation District Infrastructure Modernization Project could reduce seepage losses and improve the District’s ability to efficiently provide water to its patrons. The proposed project is located in Hood River County, Oregon. The project is sponsored by the Farmers Irrigation District, with funding and technical support from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Farmers Conservation Alliance.
Members of the public are invited to provide input to help guide planning efforts during a virtual scoping meeting on June 16, 2021 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Due to COVID-19 public event restrictions, the meeting will be held virtually using Zoom. Register for the meeting at oregonwatershedplans.org. Participants will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposed irrigation improvements and submit their comments, ideas, and concerns. A recording of the meeting will be available afterwards at the same website.
Following the public scoping period, project partners will develop a Draft Watershed Plan - Environmental Assessment. The public will have an opportunity to review the draft plan and provide additional input. Once complete, the watershed plan will enable NRCS to apply for funding to construct irrigation improvements through its Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention program, authorized by Public Law 83-566. Through this program, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to local organizations (project sponsors) for planning and carrying out watershed projects that help solve natural resource and related economic problems in a specific watershed. These issues can include watershed protection, flood prevention, erosion and sediment control, water supply, water quality, fish and wildlife habitat enhancement, and wetlands creation. Additional information is available online at oregonwatershedplans.org or the NRCS Oregon public notice webpage at nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/or/newsroom/pnotice/.
3-1-21 Grant Funding Available for Irrigation System and Other On-farm Improvements
Landowners can apply for up to $15,000 in grant funding through the OWEB Small Grant Program to implement on-the-ground restoration projects, including: irrigation system upgrades, streamside livestock fencing, and manure storage facilities. The program requires a 25% match, which can include in-kind labor or materials. For more information or to start the application process, contact the Hood River Soil & Water Conservation District.
11-15-20 District Newsletter Available
Updates on recent projects, policies, and operations are available here.
11-1-20 Kingsley Reservoir Expansion Project Update
FID's goal was to complete the reservoir expansion project in 2020, however, the final stages of construction were pushed into 2021 due to several delays due to unexpected site conditions, weather, COVID 19, air quality, and fire danger which cost the contractor nearly 6 weeks in construction time. Placement of dam material can only happen during dry weather and with soils within a narrow moisture content band. While the District was able to complete the vast majority of the many facets of the expansion project, we were unable to place the material for the final 16 feet of dam height due to the fall rains. The final stages of construction will be completed in early summer 2021. The dam will be able to operate next season as it has historically, just without the additional capacity of the expanded design. Please respect the closure of the site until the project has been completed.
8-1-20 Hydropower Plants Recertified by Low Impact Hydropower Institute
Plant 2 and Plant 3 were approved for recertification by the Low Impact Hydropower Institute (LIHI) for a 10-year term. Low impact hydropower certification allows FID to receive a higher price for the energy produced, helping to keep rates lower for District patrons. Learn more about the plants and the certification here.
4-22-20 Kingsley Reservoir Expansion Project to Begin
FID's contractor is anticipated to begin work on the Kingsley Reservoir Expansion Project soon. This project will raise the Upper Green Point Dam by 11 feet and almost double the storage capacity in the Upper Kingsley Reservoir, thereby improving water reliability for FID patrons in coming years. Construction work is expected to take all summer and fall. Remember that the area around the Kingsley Reservoir is CLOSED to the public until 2021.
1-30-20 FID Manager Speaking at Upcoming Event
FID Manager Les Perkins and Hood River Watershed Group Coordinator Cindy Thieman will lead the February 19th Sense of Place to discuss the history, use, and restoration of the Hood River Watershed. Learn more about the event here.
11-8-19 Grants Available for Irrigation Upgrades
The Hood River Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) has $100,000 in OWEB grant funding available and is now accepting applications from landowners for projects that improve watershed health, including on-farm irrigation system upgrades. If you're planning to upgrade your system in the next 2-3 years, contact the SWCD today. Learn more about this grant opportunity here.
10-10-19 Columbia Insight Article Provides Update on Kingsley Reservoir Expansion
The Kingsley Reservoir expansion project was not implemented this past year due to permitting delays. Learn more about the project and its implementation here.
9-4-19 Funding Available for Irrigation System and Other On-farm Improvements
Two funding opportunities are currently available to FID's patrons. The OWEB Small Grant program has up to $15,000 for landowners to upgrade irrigation systems, fence livestock out of streams, or do other on-the-ground restoration projects. Contact Kris at the Hood River SWCD for more information. Hood River's local NRCS office has funding to help landowners with thinning and fuels reduction projects, smudge pot removal, or creation of beneficial insect habitat. Contact NRCS District Conservationist Carly at 541-352-1037 for more information.
9-3-19 Upcoming Meetings
Join the Hood River Watershed Group on September 24th at 6pm at OSU Extension to learn about recent habitat restoration efforts in the West Fork Hood River. Learn more about this meeting or future Watershed Group meetings here.
8-27-19 FID Partners with Hood River SWCD on Conservation Innovation Grant
The Hood River SWCD, Hood River Watershed Group, and Farmers Irrigation District will be working together to improve pollinator habitat along FID's pipelines. The partners were recently awarded an NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to conduct a pilot project along FID's recently replaced North Green Point Pipeline, which will replace invasive weeds with native pollinator habitat. Based on the results of the pilot project, these partners hope to scale up efforts to the rest of FID's district and throughout the West. Learn about the grant award here.
8-5-2019 FID's Davenport Screen featured in news article
Check out our latest article here.
7-24-19 FID's Hydropower System Featured on Tour and in Article
International hydropower professionals were recently toured through FID's system to learn about our irrigation modernization efforts and in-conduit hydropower system upgrades. Read the article here.
7-17-19 FID Featured in Journal Article Evaluating the Farmers Screen
FID's Davenport Farmers Screen was used as a test site for a new mode of evaluating safe fish passage. This study, published in the Marine and Freshwater Research journal, confirmed that the Farmers Screen provides safe downstream fish passage. Click here to read the study.
12-19-18 Hydro Profits Fuel Irrigation Upgrades on Western Farmer-Stockman Website
Author Roberr Waggener posted an article in July 2018 on the Western Farmer-Stockman website regarding Farmers Irrigation District's hydropower systems. Click here to read full article.
12-19-18 - Irrigation Upgrades Article on Western Farmer-Stockman Website
Author Roberr Waggener posted an article in July 2018 on the Western Farmer-Stockman website regarding Farmers Irrigation District's irrigation upgrades. Click here to read full article.
06-22-18 Project Updates
Click here to go to our Projects page and read about our recently completed projects.
06-20-18 - Irrigation Screen Noted in Gorge Magazine Article
Writer and photographer David Hanson delves into the story of what came after, when a few enterprising Hood Riverites used the catastrophe as an opportunity to build a better mousetrap in the form of an innovative irrigation screen. That effort has completely changed the irrigation scene in the Hood River Valley and is now poised to help reshape irrigation and water use throughout the western U.S. Click here to read full article.
04-05-18 - FID Featured in EnviroGorge Article about the recent changes at the Kingsley Reservoir
Dac Collins, Managing Editor of EnviroGorge, posted an article on the EnviroGorge website regarding Farmers Irrigation District's recent work on the Kingsley Reservoir and managing water usage for Hood River Valley customers. Click here to read more...
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.