BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — After years of planning, the Arnold Irrigation District has won federal government approval of plans for its canal-piping Infrastructure Modernization Project. But the legal fight with opposing neighbors isn’t over yet.
The project, like many in recent years by irrigation districts around the region, would convert the open-ditch irrigation canal into a buried, closed-pipe system, for a boost in water efficiency and more water back in the Deschutes River.
However, neighbors trying to prevent the project in southern Bend are fighting back, and holding a yard sale Saturday to raise money for attorney fees.
The nonprofit Save Arnold Canal group has fought the piping plan since it was first proposed in 2019.
SAC advocates instead for concrete lining of the canal, which it says will reduce seepage by 70% but allow enough for trees and neighboring wells within a mile of the canal.
Most supporters of SAC live in the Deschutes River Woods area just south of Bend, with their properties bordering the canal. They say the piping project would have right of way to destroy anything on homeowner property within 50 feet of the canal.
Geoff Reynolds, vice president of SAC, tells NewsChannel 21 the piping would completely change the landscape of his neighborhood, taking away trees and wildlife.
Carly Keenan stopped by the sale to learn more. She’ll have the full report on NewsChannel 21 at Five.
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