|Title:||Support for the Little Butte / Bear Creek Water Management Project|
|Dept:||Public Works Department|
|Date:||December 17, 2002|
|Submitted By:||Paula Brown|
|Brian Almquist, Interim City Administrator|
|Synopsis:||In August 2001, Council provided their support for the Irrigation Point of Diversion (IPOD) Project in their quest for federal funding. The project was designed to help irrigation systems, improve water quality and improve stream flows. An update was brought to the Council last month on the progress to date. This item formally supports the project by adding Ashland as a signatory to the attached Memorandum of Understanding.|
|Recommendation:||Staff has been involved with this project on the periphery and continues to support the project goals. Staff recommends Council authorize the City's signature of support on the attached Memorandum of Support. The formal signature sheet will be provided separately.|
|Fiscal Impact:||There is no direct impact for the City. The project is looking for federal financial support through Congress to assess project feasibility and provide funding for some of the project goals. Should funds be available, their impact will have a net positive affect on the City of Ashland for water quality benefits.|
|Background:||Three years ago an effort began to coordinate
environmental and water quality issues with the irrigation districts. Beginning
with the Little Butte Creek basin, the Medford Water Commission, the Medford
Regional Water Reclamation District and the Medford Irrigation District.
The goal was to look at improving water quality and irrigation water quality
in the Little Butte Creek area. This project has grown to include the Bear
Creek basin and now includes Talent Irrigation District and Rogue River
Irrigation District along with other interested parities. The project has
been renamed the Little Butte Creek / Bear Creek Water Management Project
(LB/BC-WMP). The goals remain the same; improve the effectiveness and efficiency
without undue financial burden on the irrigation districts; and improve stream
flows and water quality in both Little Butte and Bear Creek basins. Attached
is a more detailed project description.
One of the efforts it to look at the irrigation flows and how those flows can leave more water in the streams. Discussions include piping irrigation canal reaches, increase water storage capacity in the reservoirs feeding the irrigation districts (Agate Lake and Howard Prairie) and the use of reclaimed effluent to supplement irrigation flows. Ashland has discussed all three of these issues with the Talent Irrigation District and could benefit from the outcomes of the LB/BC-WMP. Of primary interest is the use of reclaimed effluent for irrigation and as a means to resolve the temperature concerns for discharge to the creek.
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