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PRESS RELEASE:  Reclamation, Mid-Pacific Region, Sacramento, CA MP-07-036
March 1, 2007

Horsefly Irrigation District Wins Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Regional Director’s 2006 Water Conservation Award

The Bureau of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region has recognized the outstanding water conservation efforts of the Horsefly Irrigation District (District) with the 2006 Regional Director’s Water Conservation Award to the District.
The District was recognized for embarking on a proactive program that both conserves and enhances their operations.  In a combined effort with Reclamation, the District is installing pipe on District lands where excessive loss of water is occurring.   

The purchase costs of construction and maintenance equipment were extraordinarily large for the size of the District, with the project costing approximately 50 percent of their annual budget.  Piping is at the top of the District’s conservation program because soil can absorb 30 percent or more of the water conveyed in open canals and ditches.  District Manager Don Russell said, “Conservation has to be at the forefront:  the more water the District saves, the less we pump, and the less the District pays.”

The District is also working with Oregon Energy Trusts in an effort to update pumps and motors, including variable speed units.  The District is revamping diversion points to accommodate future water measurement, encouraging on-farm improvements, recycling tail water, and initiating a canal de-watering program to control moss without chemicals.  

“This is most difficult given a small budget.  Stepping out of the 1940s into this century is indeed costly, but worth it.  In conclusion, the District will make every effort to manage our resources.  Knowing the dollar limit, we must manage the water, not have the water manage us,” Russell said.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States.  Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.  Visit our website at http://www.usbr.gov.

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