Umatilla County, Oregon 1922


Umatilla County possesses tremendous possibilities through the development of irrigation. At present the Umatilla Project is merely a demonstration on a comparatively small acreage of the wonderful possibilities of irrigation with a good storage reservoir. From February to June, inclusive, an average of 9,665 second feet of water in the Umatilla River runs past the adjoining fertile arid plains below Echo and is poured into the Columbia. From July to October, when the demand is greatest, the discharge at the mouth of the Umatilla averages only 156 second feet. Increased irrigated acreage necessitates more storage reservoir capacity.

The McKay Creek Reservoir, on which construction will soon be started, will store up sufficient of this surplus flood water to bring thousands of acres under cultivation and provide additional water for land irrigated during part of the season.

Although work on the Teel Project, which consists of 16,500 acres of splendid land southwest of Echo, has been temporarily halted, there is no doubt but what this big tract will eventually be placed under irrigation. With a storage reservoir there will be an abundance of water in the Camas Prairie streams, which it is proposed to tap by the canal already nearly completed, which water will be carried through the tunnel now partly constructed into the Butter Creel, channel to irrigate even more land than the project calls for. The ground can easily be placed under cultivation at a low expense and the soil and other conditions should make this land tempting to the investor who has confidence in the great possibilities of irrigation. When financial conditions improve this project will be completed.

While the above projects are already under way, Umatilla County possesses even greater possibilities which will eventually be realized when the Umatilla Rapids are developed for power and irrigation.

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