To improve energy and water efficiency, North Unit Irrigation District improved water conveyance efficiency and operational control by upgrading automation at ten check structures throughout the main canal of its distribution system. By installing the latest technology in sliding gates, the District has removed unnecessary water loss resultingh from a manually controlled distribution system. The project took two years to complete, ending April 2023.
By finetuning water conveyance operations, this project reduced the amount of unnecessary discharge into the system and reduced the volume of water initially diverted from the Deschutes and Crooked River. This project achieved the following goals:
- Water Conservation: Enhance irrigation conveyance efficiencies within the District to save 3,300 acre-feet per year.
- Energy-Water Nexus: Optimize the operational energy efficiency by installing collaborative programming across the check structures for succinct automation.
- Benefits to Endangered Species: Improve conditions for Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Mid-Columbia steelhead trout in the lower Crooked River, and ESA protected Oregon spotted frog in the Upper Deschutes River.