MADRAS, OR -- North Unit Irrigation is set to receive water from the Thornburgh Resort through a Drought Water Right Transfer recently approved by the Oregon Water Resources Department.
Mike Briton, general manager for the irrigation district, says he appreciates the water but believes the transfer process takes too long. “There’s still some work to be done at the state level to expedite these processes. This shouldn’t be a multi-month process it should be 30 days. We’re still struggling with those even today,” said Briton.
Briton acknowledges 200-Acre-Feet of water will not go a long way for the 60,000-acre district, but every little bit helps. “I would say it’s beyond dire. We’re in a multi-year severe drought pattern. Our farmers have been allocated less than 25% of their normal allotment of water. Estimates are that we have about 50% of our district fallow right now,” he said.
October 14th is the tentative irrigation water shut-off for this season.