Welcome to Medford Irrigation District
Follow the link above for information relating to the Medford Irrigation District and Rogue River Valley Irrigation District’s Joint System Canal Piping Project.
*Irrigation Season Update*
We are very appreciative of the efforts and understanding of all our patrons through this tough season. Our rotations over the last two weeks have successfully provided water to our lower-end users this week. Our supplemental allotment out of Emigrant lake will run out on Sunday morning the 18th. We will be fully relying on our Primary supply out of Fish lake moving forward and that is projected to run out around August 1st. Irrigators on Ride 1 that were shut down last week can return to their rotations. Please call the office if you have not had contact with your ditch rider regarding your schedule. The next two weeks will be challenging from an operational standpoint without our supplemental supply and the ability to pick up return flows. Please see the link to the Mail Tribune article below.
*Water Supply Update*
The District water supply is at a historical low and the consistent heatwave is making it very tough to maintain deliveries through the entire system. Users on the lower end of our system have not had consistent access to their share of the supply. We are doing our best to supply water until August 1rst. Our supplemental supply out of Emigrant lake is only going to make it through the 3rd week in July at this rate so we will need to push our primary supply from Fish lake all the way through our system. To do this we will need to rotate usage in the system. Starting July 7th & 8th Flood irrigation on Ride 1 (Lake creek down to Cokerbutte rd) will be rotated off for one week. July 14th & 15th we will resume the rotations that were already in place for these lands. The goal is to push the water through the system and give the users at the end of the Phoenix canal (Jacksonville/old stage/central point) a fair share of consistent water deliveries. This schedule may be modified as we move forward. Staff will be contacting landowners directly and shutting/tagging headgates on the 7th and 8th. We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented drought and hopefully, we can make the best with what we have by working together. If you have questions please call our office @ 541-899-9913 or email at MedID@MedfordID.org
Please follow the attached links to the OWRD Drought Resources page for information regarding the drought conditions and assistance programs that are available at this time.
*Water supply update*
The district water supply is critically low despite a late start to the irrigation season. At this time we are taking measures to extend our supply into August. This is going to be very challenging and we will all need to do our part. Flood irrigation will go from the standard 2-week rotation and be extended to 3-week rotations. Please work closely with your ditch riders on scheduling and rotations. Please call the office if you see runoff or water where it should not be so that we can make repairs as quickly as possible and conserve the water we do have. If you elect not to take the water when it is your turn please notify the office so that your ditch rider can move the water to the next user. Any on-farm conservation measures that our patrons can make will be greatly appreciated. Please call the office with any questions or concerns @ 541-899-9913
The District has started making deliveries from the Little Butte Creek streamflow. We anticipate lower than normal flows in the canal throughout May with more consistent flows starting in June. We will all need to do our part to be as efficient as possible with the water supply we have. Please call the office to get on the schedule @ 541-899-9913.
2021 Season Update:
Irrigation deliveries will begin the first week in May. We are going into a very challenging season and we have yet to see how our primary reservoirs will react to the snowmelt. At this point, Fish and Fourmile lake are 48% of average for this time of year and 30% of full-pool. We rely on supplemental irrigation for our west side out of Emigrant, Hyatt, and Howard Prairie. We currently only have 18% of our allotment available in those reservoirs. Without knowing what weather patterns we will see and how the reservoirs will react to the snowpack, we are anticipating a shortened season with the possibility of running out of water sometime in August. We will update those projections as the reservoirs begin to react to the snowmelt and the streamflows stabilize.
2021 Drought update:
We are keeping a close eye on weather patterns and the spring runoff. The District’s primary supply is 48% of average and our supplemental supply is 20% of average. The current snowpack is just below average in our basin. We are hopeful for a favorable spring with consistent streamflows to keep our storage in the reservoirs for as long as possible and a smooth captured runoff. In 2020, our supply was in better shape and we had a delayed start date (first week in May) and a shortened season that ended September 16th. We anticipate a shorter season this year and want to let our users know as soon as possible so that you can prepare accordingly. We will keep our website updated regularly as we head into the spring and have a better picture of what we will be working with this season.
MONTHLY BOARD OF DIRECTOR MEETINGS
The Medford Irrigation District Board of Directors regularly meet at the District office on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:30 pm. The meetings are open to the public. If you have something to present to the Board, please contact the Office at least one week in advance to be placed on the agenda.
EMERGENCY ANSWERING SERVICE
For all emergencies during non-business hours, the phone number to call is 541-770-0277. The emergency answering service will contact the District’s emergency response personnel.
The Mission of the Medford Irrigation District
To deliver water equitably and efficiently with the least amount of cost to its water users, keeping in mind the need for long-range planning and environmental impact. Through leadership, use of technical expertise, efficient operations, responsive customer service and the creativity of people, Medford Irrigation District will seek to protect and preserve local natural and ecosystems through the effective use of water.
The first irrigation water supply for lands within the District’s area was obtained from Bear Creek and its tributaries. Fish Lake Water Company was organized in 1897 to bring water into the valley from outside sources. Water rights were obtained on Little Butte Creek and a storage dam at Fish Lake and canals from the North and South Forks of Little Butte Creek were constructed. The delivery of water from these sources began in 1902.
The Fish Lake Ditch Company sold its interests to the Public Water Company in 1908 and this organization operated the system under various names until 1930. Enlargements were made to the system in 1908 and again in 1915 and 1916, but they were inadequate to furnish and deliver the necessary supply of water. The Medford Irrigation District was formed in 1917 with the objective of developing new sources of water to provide a supply to lands not previously irrigated. The District contracted with the Rogue River Valley Canal Company (not to be confused with Rogue River Valley Irrigation District), successors to the Public Water Company; to construct Fourmile Lake Dam and the Cascade Canal, reconstruct Fish Lake Dam and complete the distribution system within the District.