Owyhee Irrigation District

WELCOME! (this website is under currently construction.)

Our office is located at 17 South First Street in Nyssa, Oregon.

Office hours:

Monday -Friday 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM

Closed at noon for lunch


  • The 2018 season will end on October 5th in preparation for the repairs to the Malheur Siphon. Please plan to have all irrigation finished by the first week of October.

Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates on, start date, shut off date, and other important information throughout the season.


The allotment has not yet been set for the 2018 water season. The Board of Directors and Joint Committee will continue to monitor the water situation and announce the allotment when we get closer to the beginning of irrigation.

The Owyhee Irrigation District board of directors have set the incurred O&M charges for the 2018 season at $65.00 per irrigable acre. The fee breakdown is as follows: $1.50 special assessment for the Malheur Siphon Improvements project and $63.50 for the normal, annual Operation and Maintenance fee. This will be a $3.00 increase from last year. Those owners who have less than 5 acres will be assessed a charge of $75.00 for account fees plus the $65.00 per irrigable acre.


In order NOT to incur interest charges, the water bill must be paid on or before April 15. Payments received in the mail with an April 15th postage date WILL BE CONSIDERED DELINQUENT IF RECEIVED AFTER APRIL 15TH.

Malheur Siphon

The District has contracted with MWH Americas, an engineering firm from Boise, who has performed an evaluation, structure analysis, and has engineered the design of the replacement structures to support the Siphon. The District has continued to move forward and is currently accepting bids for this project, these will be opened on the 6th of March. The District will receive recommendations from Greg Clark, a representative from MWH Americas, and will then decide who will be completing the work on the structure.

For more information, please attend our Annual Water Users Meeting on March 20, 2018, at 1:30 pm at the Four Rivers Cultural Center.

2018 Assistant Manager’s Report

The harsh winter from last year has become the District’s water supply for the 2018 irrigation season. With a dismal snowpack in the Owyhee Basin sitting at 37% water equivalency (as of 02/01/18) we will need a wet and cool weather pattern to add to the snowpack. With the water storage carryover starting at 491,136 Acre Feet at the first of February, this could mean that the reservoir storage for irrigation will start far below normal average levels heading into 2019.

For more information, please attend our Annual Water Users Meeting on March 20, 2018, starting at 1:30 pm at the Four Rivers Cultural Center.

Reservoir water levels and Hydromet data can be found here: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/owytea.html

Real-time snowpack telemetry sites can be viewed in Google Maps and on Google Earth - SNOTEL: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/snow/


Just a reminder that if you own and/or lease 240 irrigable acres or more in the 17 Western states, you are required to complete a Federal RRA form. Water CANNOT be delivered until these forms are completed.

If you are a new owner or a renter leasing 240 acres and you need more information, please call the District Office.

Right of Way Issues

No fences, ditches, or other obstructions shall be placed across or upon any District canal bank without special permission of management and then only with the understanding that suitable openings or gates will be provided to enable District employees to travel said canal banks without hindrance. Management shall have the right to remove all fences of obstructions constructed contrary to these provisions. Maintaining weed control on the right-of-way will be at the discretion of the District. Obstructions are not permitted on District canals, right of ways, and facilities. The following are some obstructions that are not permitted; drip systems, diesel fuel, stacking hay, chemical storage box tanks, junky equipment, buildings, no parking of equipment, landscaping, trees, brush, nor lawns should be grown on District canals, laterals, or right of way.


The average width of a right of way is a total of 30 feet, 15 feet from the center both directions. For larger canals, this could be up to 100 feet, 50 feet from the center each direction. If you have questions about a particular right of way, please contact the main office. Your cooperation in this matter is greatly needed and much appreciated; this allows us to keep the system functioning proficiently to the benefit of all water users.

Water Rights and Making Changes to Your Operations

We realize that many water users are making changes to their farming practices. It is imperative that you discuss any changes that will affect how you use your irrigation water. We must comply with state laws and federal regulations. Under ORS 540.510 only lands that are designated as irrigable can have water applied to them. The District has noticed many of those switching to pivot operations are now watering ground that does not have water rights; this is against both state and federal law. There are options for you to move your water rights to cover the non-irrigated ground.

This rule also applies to land that has water rights but is not being irrigated. Under ORS 540.610 irrigation water must be applied to beneficial use within a five (5) year period, or those rights are subject to forfeit.

It is crucial that if you are making changes to your operation, watering land without water rights, or have land that does have water rights but is not being irrigated, please contact Kris or Brittany at the main office, so that we may discuss the options available to you.


There will be a Gopher Bounty Program this year. The District will pay $1.00 per tail. Gophers must be caught within the jurisdiction of the Owyhee Irrigation District. LANDOWNERS WITH OWYHEE IRRIGATION WATER RIGHTS are the ONLY authorized participants. We will begin accepting tails in April. Designated days for turning in gopher tails are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between the times of 8:00 A.M. and 8:30 A.M. Rotting tails and other parts of animals will NOT be accepted. A District employee will count and verify the number of tails, and a check will be issued the following month.

Monthly Board Meetings

The Board of Directors for the Owyhee Irrigation District usually meet the third Tuesday, following the first Monday, of each month, although, that can change depending on Management, The Joint Committee, and The Board of Directors. Check here and our Facebook page for date and time information.

This meeting is open to the public, and we encourage water users to attend. If you would like to speak at the meeting, please contact the office: (541) 372-3540 so we can put you on the agenda.

Please contact the main office if you have questions regarding the monthly meeting.


President - Jerry Nagaki

Vice President - Dan Tschida

Secretary - Frank Ausman

Eric White

Bruce Corn


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If you have been in the District Chemical Lock and Close Program in the past, the District will be sending instructions and information that water users will need to make an informed decision on the best way to manage your operation.

If you wish to participate, you must complete a Lock & Close Program Request Form. This must be returned to the District Office by April 12, 2019, if you do not wish to have these chemicals to enter your headgate. For more information, please contact the district office, your ditch rider or the Owyhee Irrigation District's environmental coordinator.

This year we will again be using the AlertSense notification system for aquatic herbicide applications made to the canals and laterals. This alert system contacts the user by email, landline, text, and cell phone. Those who were on last year's list have been entered into the system for this year. This system keeps our patrons better informed and provides documentation for our records.