Our History

Established in 1929, the Vale Oregon Irrigation District (VOID) is a quasi Municipal Corporation of the State of Oregon.

The system consists of two canals: the Vale Main Canal that services 30,416 acres and  Bullycreek which services 4,577 acres of land. Water is diverted from the Malheur River into the Vale Main Canal system and more than 365 miles of canals and laterals deliver water to lands in the Harper, Vale, Willowcreek and Jamieson areas.  The Vale project lands are located along the Malheur River and Willowcreek in east-central Oregon, surrounding the town of Vale. The project furnishes irrigation water to 34,993 acres of land. Features include Agency Valley Dam and Beulah Reservoir, Bullycreek Dam and Reservoir, Harper Diversion Dam, Vale Main Canal, and a distribution and drainage system. To supplement project needs, the Federal Government purchased one-half of the storage rights in the Warmsprings Reservoir built by the Warmsprings Irrigation District.

The project stores water in Warmsprings, Beulah, and Bullycreek reservoirs. The stored water in Warmsprings and Beulah reservoirs, together with natural stream flow, is diverted from the Malheur River by the Harper Diversion Dam to the Vale Main Canal. This water supplies lands on the west side of the Malheur River from west of Harper to Vale, and along Willowcreek from Vale to the vicinity of Jamieson. A siphon, 1.5 miles southwest of Little Valley, conveys water to the Little Valley Canal, on the east side of the Malheur River in the vicinity of Little Valley. Excess water from the Malheur River is diverted to Bullycreek Reservoir through the Vale Main Canal, and through the Bullycreek Feeder Canal that delivers water from the Main Canal. Water stored in Bullycreek Reservoir is delivered by two laterals, one beginning at the outlet works of the dam and the other at Bullycreek Diversion Dam about a mile downstream from the reservoir.

Construction of the Vale Project was authorized by the President on October 21, 1926. The Bullycreek Extension was authorized by Public Law 86-248, dated September 9, 1959. A contract between the Federal Government and the Vale Oregon Irrigation District was signed October 22, 1926. The contract provided for the purchase of one-half interest in Warmsprings Reservoir by the Bureau of Reclamation, construction of a diversion dam, main canal, branch canals, structures in connection therewith, and construction of necessary drainage works for the Warmspnings Irrigation District. Construction began on March 3, 1927.

The first units of the Vale project (Harper and Little Valley) were opened to irrigation in 1930. The last unit to receive irrigation water was the Willowcreek unit in 1938. On March 28, 1932, a supplemental contract was executed with the Vale Oregon Irrigation District that provided for construction of Agency Valley Dam on the North Fork of the Malheur River to add storage needed for an adequate water supply. The dam was completed in 1935. Almost 35,000 acres of sagebrush and rangeland have been transformed into productive farmland. Principal crops produced are grain, corn, hay, pasture, onions and sugar beets.

Facilities of the Bullycreek Extension, primarily Bullycreek Dam and Reservoir, Feeder Canal, Diversion Dam and laterals were constructed during 1962 — 1964.  The three reservoirs are operated on a coordinated forecast basis for flood control. The Vale project is operated and maintained by the Vale Oregon Irrigation District.