North Unit Irrigation District (NUID) is the largest irrigation district in the Deschutes River Basin (Basin) in Central Oregon and second largest in the state, consisting of approximately 59,000 irrigated acres of high-value crops.
Current NUID water supply consists of water rights from both the Deschutes and Crooked Rivers delivered through the Federal Deschutes Project and Crooked River Pump Station.
Endangered Species Act (ESA) concerns in the Upper Basin led to a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) that was approved on December 31, 2021.
To keep agriculture viable, NUID has partnered with local stakeholders on a series of studies exploring infrastructure, management approaches, and alternative water supplies as a result of the ESA and HCP commitments, in addition to ongoing drought.
These studies have identified the Crooked River Water Quality and Supply Reliability Project as a key solution for NUID and the Basin.
Reduced water deliveries and streamflow from drought conditions in 2020 and 2021 have further highlighted the need for this project to increase the reliability of water for farms and the environment.