Water shortages? No problem.

East Fork Irrigation District

Heather Blaine received a letter one day that would be bad news for any farmer. Her irrigation district in western Oregon was warning of a potential reduction in water supply of 25% due to impending drought conditions.

Like most farmers in the west, the orchardists in East Fork Irrigation District (EFID) depend on a reliable water source to grow high-value crops like pears, cherries and apples. Receiving 25% less water could mean lower crop quality and yields.

Heather had been steadily investing, year by year, 20 acres at a time, in on-farm improvements like high-efficiency sprinklers, which now covered 95% of the farm.

We can now move the water through in 6 days. It used to take 13‚Ķwith climate change, we don’t have the luxury of 13 days anymore.

Heather put it to the test. She asked the district to reduce her take, whether or not the drought materialized. That year, Hood River County experienced one of the worst droughts on record and Avalon Farms produced an above-average harvest.

Inspired by farmers like Heather and many others in her district, the Irrigation Modernization Program is working with EFID to modernize all of their delivery canals and on-farm sprinklers. In a future that promises more water shortages, modernized irrigation infrastructure is the key to protecting our farmers and our food supply.

Stay informed, stay involved.

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