Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does the Central Project do for Westland patrons?
A: The Central Project adds the Columbia River as a new source of supplemental water supplies to 2,800 acres that are now receiving supplemental water from McKay Reservoir. The projected patron benefits are three-fold: (1) Opportunity for full season water for patrons who receive Columbia River water; (2) Additional McKay Reservoir water for patrons not receiving Columbia River water but who elect to participate in the project; (3) Extended number of days the Westland canal will carry water as a result of the project.
Q: I am on the A-Line, in the area that will receive Columbia River water from the Project. How will the Central Project benefit me?
If your property is located within the area of Westland slated to receive Columbia River water, you will receive early-season Umatilla River water—the same as you always have in the past. However, the source for your later-season supplemental water will now be the Columbia River—not McKay Reservoir. Think of your Columbia River supplemental water as being available to you in two parts—an initial allocation and an elective allocation:
Initial Allocation: Your initial allocation of supplemental water from the Columbia River will be based on the fill level of McKay Reservoir each year. That is, if McKay fills completely, your initial allotment from the Columbia will be equal to a full reservoir allotment—currently 2.3 acre-feet per acre. If McKay only fills to 90%, the initial allotment you receive from the Columbia will be 90% of 2.3 acre-feet per acre. And, there will be no new or additional cost for your initial allocation of Columbia River water versus what you now pay to receive McKay Reservoir water.
Elective Allocation: After you have used your initial allocation, you have a choice to make—stop applying Columbia River water to your ground or elect to continue irrigating. If you elect to continue irrigating, the cost per acre-foot of water will be higher but you will still have access to valuable irrigation water when other patrons in the district may not.
Q: I am not in an area that will not receive Columbia River water. How will the Central Project benefit me?
A: Patrons not in the area served by the Columbia River will continue to receive McKay Reservoir water as they have in the past. Patrons in this area who elect to participate in the project by agreeing to fund the required construction and implementation will receive an additional amount of McKay water. This additional amount is currently targeted to be .67 acre-feet per acre based on a full reservoir. Besides the additional amount, several additional days of McKay water are expected to be available in the canal system as a result of the project.
Q: I don’t know where my property is located in the Westland distribution system or what canal or pipeline I am on. How do I find out?
A: Contact the Westland office at 541-667-2030 to find out and to ask other Central Project-related questions you may have.
Q: What happens to my water rights?
A: All current water rights remain the same and will remain protected by Westland. Additional Columbia River water rights will be issued to Westland by the Oregon Water Resources Department.
Q: Are there other opportunities for the District and its patrons if the Central Project is constructed?
A: In addition to the benefits already described, the Central Project pipeline will have additional water delivery capacity from the Columbia River which may translate into significant opportunities for Westland and its patrons. If you are interested in learning more about potential future opportunities that could result from the construction of the Central Project, please contact the Westland office at 541-667-2030.