COID has claimed it was to help fix leaky canals and allow them to put more water in the the river to help the environment.
But homeowners felt the motivation was to put hydroelectric power along the canals to make money.
A homeowner along the canal, appealed to the state Land Use Board of Appeals that the environmental claim really wasn't the reason for the piping and LUBA agreed.
Tom Hignell lives along the canal and is thrilled with the decision.
"They decided in our favor. They stated the COID application is a hydro power use permit, not a water and environmental use permit. So it needs a conditional use permit from the county. This tells the county COID can't go forward with its present applicaton, but they need to make another application for hydro power use."
The Deschutes County Planning Commission is meeting next week on a request to allow them to pipe these canals without any public input. But in light of the LUBA decision, it's likely they will ask COID to reapply as a hydropower project.