Recent Press Releases
Victory for North Fork Smith River, December 7, 2017
Today, WaterWatch of Oregon and American Whitewater applauded the Oregon Water Resources Commission’s decision to reserve the surface waters of the North Fork Smith for the support of instream fish and wildlife, recreation, livestock, and domestic human consumption. The Commission also limited groundwater development in the subbasin. This decision protects fish, wildlife, recreation, and water quality and is a major win for one of the most spectacular, remote, and unique rivers in southern Oregon.
Oregon Court of Appeals Upholds Order Against McKenzie River Water Speculators, November 15, 2017
The Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld a final order denying the Willamette Water Company’s controversial application for a permit to withdraw 34 cubic feet per second (22 million gallons per day) from the McKenzie River.
Judge Denies Irrigators Special Treatment, Millions in Drought Payments, October 2, 2017
Judge Marian Blank Horn of the U.S. Court of Claims has ruled against agribusiness interests within the federal Klamath Irrigation Project that had been demanding some $30 million in compensation for reduced irrigation water deliveries during an extreme drought that struck the Klamath River Basin in 2001.
The Columbia River Basin Holds Immense Natural Capital Value, July 6, 2017
A new report shows that the Columbia River Basin’s natural capital provides $198 billion in value annually, in food, water, flood risk reduction, recreation, habitat, aesthetic and other benefits.
Water Bill Passes a Milestone, April 12, 2017
The Oregon House Committee on Energy and Environment has voted to move HB 2705 out of committee, a bill requiring water right holders to measure water use. It is aimed at improving the state’s ability to sustainably manage Oregon’s limited water resources.
Klamath Advocates Go To Court Over Wildlife Mismanagement
, January 18, 2017
WaterWatch and our conservation allies have filed litigation in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for failure to follow federal law in the creation of the Comprehensive Conservation Plan for the Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Agreement Reached to Protect Upper Deschutes River, October 28, 2016
WaterWatch, the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, and several irrigation districts today reached an interim agreement to temporarily boost flows in the Upper Deschutes River to reduce harm to the Oregon spotted frog, a threatened species protected by the federal Endangered Species Act. The deal also requires the Bureau of Reclamation and the water districts to consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a long-term plan on a set timeline that will further reduce harm to the frogs.
Recent Press Clips
Birds Take Backseat to Fish, Farms in the Klamath Basin, July 24, 2017
What Happens to Birds When Wildlife Refuges Dry Up, July 26, 2017
How Farming Inside Wildlife Refuges is Transforming Klamath Basin Agriculture, July 27, 2017
In a three part series, Jes Burns of OPB looks at the impacts of the management practices on the Klamath Wildlife Refuge.
Brown signs bill protecting salmon habitat from river mining, Oregonian, June 14, 2017
Gov. Kate Brown signed a bill Wednesday that protects thousands of miles of critical salmon habitat across much of western Oregon from suction dredge mining.
Draining Oregon: Lawmaker strips specific dollar amounts out of water fee bill, Oregonian, April 19, 2017
A House committee gave its blessing this week to a bill that would charge an annual fee to tens of thousands of Oregon water rights holders, but left specific fee dollar amounts to be undetermined.
Draining Oregon: Bill to fund $8.2 million in groundwater studies passes key hurdle, Oregonian, April 14, 2017
A proposal to fund $8.2 million in new groundwater studies for as many as five drainage basins across Oregon passed a key legislative hurdle this week.
Oregon Senate passes permanent dredging-ban bill, Mail Tribune, April 10, 2017
A permanent ban on suction dredging in Western Oregon’s wild salmon habitat championed by the late Democratic Sen. Alan Bates passed out of the Oregon Senate and is headed to a House committee.
Proposed Oregon mega-dairy wins key permit, Statesman Journal, March 31, 2017
A dairy with 30,000 animals proposed for Eastern Oregon has won state approval of its plan to manage the 187 million gallons of manure it will produce each year. A coalition of environmental groups now is trying to block a proposed water rights transfer that would provide the dairy with the water it needs to operate.
Draining Oregon: Lawmakers plan hearings on 3 water bills, Oregonian, March 21, 2017
Oregon lawmakers will hold a first hearing Wednesday on three bills designed to address the state’s long-standing inability to measure and study its groundwater supply, and how to pay for it.
Judge Orders More Water Releases From Klamath River Dams, OPB, February 8, 2017
In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge William Orrick ordered more water releases from dams on the Klamath River to flush out parasites causing deadly disease outbreaks in salmon.
Conservation Groups Sue To Get More Water To Klamath Wildlife Refuges, OPB, January 18, 2017
Three Oregon conservation groups say a new plan to manage National Wildlife Refuges in the Klamath Basin doesn’t do enough to protect habitat. The groups filed a lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Medford to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider additional options.
Klamath dam removals heavily supported by community, Times-Standard, January 12, 2017
Close to 100 people showed up to speak for the removal of the four dams on the Klamath River at a public meeting put on by the California State Water Resource Control Board in Arcata.