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Ochoco Irrigation District

The District works collaboratively with local, state and federal agencies, agricultural and conservation groups and other stakeholders to responsibly manage our water supplies.

Ochoco Irrigation District is part of the Deschutes Basin Board of Control (DBBC). The DBBC is comprised of eight irrigation districts in rural Central Oregon that are critical to conveying water supplies throughout the Deschutes Basin to over 7,600 farm and ranch families, schools, and local parks and recreation districts.

The Crooked River Act

In 2014, President Obama signed into law H.R. 2640, the Crooked River Collaborative Water Security and Jobs Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-244). This law is the culmination of over 30 years of collaborative work by Ochoco Irrigation District, North Unit Irrigation District, the City of Prineville, Crook County, the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, and many conservation groups. Congress deliberated on the legislation for several years, held hearings in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and ultimately wrote detailed and specific language to ensure the Act’s responsible implementation. Numerous stakeholders who worked well together on the legislation for several years all supported the final bill, and celebrated its enactment.

Key provisions include the following actions to benefit fish and wildlife, including reintroduced steelhead in the Crooked River. The Act authorizes:

  • The Bureau of Reclamation to annually release up to 60,000 acre-feet of “uncontracted” water stored in Prineville Reservoir for fish and wildlife purposes;
  • An exchange of senior McKay Creek water rights for stored water from Prineville Reservoir, freeing up these senior rights to remain instream in a key tributary for steelhead;
  • Temporary instream leases by landowners inside Ochoco Irrigation District, to work with conservation groups on increasing flows in the Crooked River; and
  • A new hydropower facility to be designed, permitted, and constructed at Bowman Dam, which will produce clean, renewable energy.

Irrigation Districts






State / County


What We Do

Provide water for approximately 20,062 acres

Serve 898 irrigators

Manage and maintain more than 122 miles of canals and laterals and 8 pumping plants

Manage operation of Ochoco and Prineville Reservoirs

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