The Board of Directors and Management of Rogue River Valley Irrigation District are pleased to announce that we have entered into a grant agreement with the Bureau of Reclamation to pipe an approximately 1.2 mile section of the Hopkins Canal from near Spring Creek down towards Antelope Creek. This piping project will provide significant reductions in water loss that is currently occurring in the canal as well as from the two old flumes built in 1957 that are located in that section of canal. We have had the Jackson County Watermaster take flow measurements over the course of the 2016 irrigation season which indicates that we will have more water to deliver to our patrons in future years as a result of this piping project. This project is fully funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and will result in no financial burden to the patrons of RRVID. This project will be a major upgrade in the facilities of the District, especially the replacement of the old flumes that are past their design life with new underground siphons. Construction on this project is not expected to start until the end of the 2017 irrigation season.
RRVID is also looking into obtaining additional grant funding for a connected canal piping project that would extend pipe about two miles further up Hopkins Canal to Bradshaw Drop which would allow us to provide pressurized water to our patrons along those piped sections of the current Hopkins Canal. This would make conversions of flood to sprinkle irrigation methods much more financially feasible for our patrons. We will also be looking for grant funding that would provide cost shares for our patrons who want to make that conversion to sprinkle irrigation. If a pressurized piping system does occur, the District would expect to be able to provide water on demand instead of the current two week water rotation for any patrons who chose to convert to a sprinkle irrigation system. We are partnering with the Jackson Soil and Water Conservation District (JSWCD) as we look at opportunities for our patrons to receive assistance in converting from flood to sprinkle irrigation systems. JSWCD will be holding an informational meeting on November 15 th at 5:30 p.m. at the Agate Lake Fire Station, 880 E. Antelope Rd., Eagle Point to discuss the services that they provide to the landowners of Jackson County. You can call JSWCD at 541-423- 6165 for more information or to RSVP for this meeting.
There is also the possibility of adding a micro-hydroelectric generation unit to this project which would further enhance the financial benefit to the District and its patrons.
We plan on scheduling some informational meetings later this year to present more details about this project. If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions for the District concerning this project, please contact Brian Hampson, District Manager of RRVID at the District office at 3139 Merriman Road, Medford, Oregon, 97501. The office phone number is 541-773- 6127. We are excited about the benefits this project will have for our District and its patrons.