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Water Supply

Water started Monday, April 18, 2022. 

It was determined at the April 12th board meeting that the best option would be to deliver 70% to the entire district beginning April 18th until Tumalo Creek runs out (usually at the end of June/beginning of July). At that time switch to a 7-day on, 7-day off rotation (like last year) until August. Then the rotation will switch to the 7-day on, 14-day off rotation and run into September.

It was noted that starting the season later does not mean we are able to run water longer. The water we deliver in the beginning of the season comes from Tumalo Creek, which is a live flow and is fully dependent on the past year’s snowpack. If we don't take the Tumalo Creek water, it will just stay in-stream and travel to the Colombia river. Every year when Tumalo Creek snow melt runs out, we switch from Tumalo Creek water to storage water from Crescent Lake.  Unfortunately, because of the relatively small drainage area around Crescent Lake, the lake is slow to fill and is mostly filled with spring runoff from the snowpack, which at this time is below average and the lake is not refilling as quickly as it has in past years. This is the reason that we now must resort to a rotation, there is not enough water in the reservoir to deliver to all patrons for a full season. It was also explained that we need enough “carry water” in the system to get the water down to the end of the ditches and laterals, this is why we cannot reduce the flow to 50% and still deliver to the entire district. In order to stay in compliance with the Habitat Conservation Plan, during August and September the district will still have to let a small percentage of water out of Crescent Lake for the benefit of the Oregon spotted frog, therefore shutting down completely in August won’t save a significant amount of water.

Please note: We do not know yet which side the rotations will start on, or the exact day. We will notify patrons as soon as we have the answers to that. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.

Read about the results of the survey that was sent out in March here.

If you do not already know where our water supply comes from, you can read a brief overview here.

To view current data about the Deschutes River Basin Storage and Discharge, click here. This data is updated daily and shows Crescent Lake's current level. 

To view Tumalo Creek's daily flow, click here.

The OSU Extension Service included an article in their most recent newsletter on page 4 about Drought Year Management. If you are interested in reading this article you can view the newsletter here.

The Oregon Water Resources Department maintains a drought website that provides the status of current water conditions and state drought declarations, as well as information on what you can do to use water wisely.  Visit their drought page here.