Editorial: Short on aquifer information

Editorial: Short on aquifer information By the Editorial Board Baker City Herald September 21, 2016 When you irrigate fields and pastures from a reservoir or a stream, it’s easy to tell when you’re running short on water. You just have to look. But the situation is nothing like as simple when it comes to some of Oregon’s larger sources of …

EDITORIAL: Water, water everywhere

EDITORIAL: Water, water everywhere But Oregon’s aquifers are being drained By the Editorial Board Eugene Register-Guard September 14, 2016 A recent report by The (Portland) Oregonian about the massive amount of water being pumped from Oregon’s underground reservoirs, much of it for agricultural uses in Eastern Oregon, with little oversight or control, should set off enough alarm bells to wake …

Draining Oregon: State regulators must stop approving wells when water levels are unknown

Draining Oregon: State regulators must stop approving wells when water levels are unknown By The Oregonian Editorial Board The Oregonian September 10, 2016 State regulators approve permits for wells in Oregon even as they suspect there isn’t enough water in some areas to keep pace. A permit application might state it “cannot be determined” whether enough ground water existed for …

Op-Ed: Eastern Oregon is running out of water

Op-Ed: Eastern Oregon is running out of water By Dorys C. Grover East Oregonian September 9, 2016 Water, one day, may be the drink of choice. We will be thirsty. One day we may find our high groundwater extraction has caused our aquifers to run out of water. There may come a day when our government will designate the amount …

Special Report: Draining Oregon

Special Report: Draining Oregon, Oregonian, August 26, 2016 In-depth analysis of state water management found farmers in a quarter of eastern Oregon, the driest part of the state, are allowed to pump more underground water each year than rains deposit. The water giveaway threatens economic chaos and hurts fish and wildlife.

WaterWatch Applauds Designation of Two New State Scenic Waterways

For Immediate Release January 27, 2016 WaterWatch Applauds Designation of Two New State Scenic Waterways Chetco and Molalla river segments gain new protections for flows supporting fish, wildlife, and recreation Chetco River by Ken Moorish WaterWatch of Oregon welcomed Governor Kate Brown’s announcement today designating portions of the Chetco and Molalla rivers as State Scenic Waterways. After a lengthy process with …

Salem to sell unused water right for $16.2 million

By Tracy Loew Salem Statesman Journal May 24, 2016 The city of Salem has agreed to sell part of its water rights on the Willamette River to the fast-growing city of Hillsboro. If the deal goes through it will earn Salem $16.2 million, which will be used to improve the city’s water infrastructure. “We don’t have any immediate need for …

Statement Regarding Ongoing Upper Deschutes River Lawsuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 24, 2016 WaterWatch and Center for Biological Diversity Statement Regarding Ongoing Upper Deschutes River Lawsuit On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Aiken indicated during a hearing that she would deny WaterWatch of Oregon and Center for Biological Diversity’s motion requesting immediate changes to flows in the Upper Deschutes River to prevent ongoing harm to the threatened …

Groups seek settlement talks in spotted frog case

Groups seek settlement talks in spotted frog case At issue is water management in the Deschutes River Basin By Taylor W. Anderson Bend Bulletin March 24, 2016 Two groups suing to change water management practices in the Deschutes River Basin to protect a threatened frog are asking the federal judge in the cases to set dates for both sides to …

Judge To Hear Water Case For Upper Deschutes

Judge To Hear Water Case For Upper Deschutes by Amanda Peacher OPB March 20, 2016 A federal judge in Eugene will hear a case Tuesday about water management in the Upper Deschutes River. Environmental groups want to see more regular flows coming out of Wickiup Reservoir on the Upper Deschutes River. They say the way the river is managed now …

In My View: It’s time to save the Upper Deschutes

In My View: It’s time to save the Upper Deschutes By Doug La Placa Bend Bulletin March 19, 2016 2013 Upper Deschutes River fish kill. Photo by Doug La Placa. When I was in the second grade a friend brought over a beat-up old fly rod. We tied on some fishing line and ran to the nearest pond. I hurled …

Guest Commentary: Just Add Water

Guest Commentary: Just Add Water BY CRAIG LACY Bend Source March 16, 2016 Few people alive remember what the Upper Deschutes River was like before Wickiup Dam was built in 1949. It was then regarded as one of the finest fisheries in the US. In 1914 Clyde McKay received the Field and Stream award for the second largest stream-caught rainbow …

Senators put pork before Klamath Basin water

Senators put pork before Klamath Basin water By Jim McCarthy For The Register-Guard February 27, 2016 Parched Lower Klamath NWR, Sept. 20, 2013 Most Oregonians expect our elected leaders to support more ­water conservation efforts in the drought-prone Klamath River Basin. They don’t ­expect them to prop up excessive water use at the expense of taxpayers, wildlife, salmon and coastal …

On the Klamath, a surprising win for river advocates

On the Klamath, a surprising win for river advocates Dam removals on the Oregon-California border move forward without water deals for irrigators By Paige Blankenbuehler High Country News Feb. 5, 2016 Klamath Basin tribes and allies from the commercial fishing and conservation community stage a rally at the 2006 meeting of the International Hydropower Industry. Patrick McCully, Flickr User Earlier …

WaterWatch of Oregon Applauds Advance of Klamath Dam Removal

For Immediate Release February 2, 2016 Contact: Jim McCarthy 541-708-0731 John DeVoe, 503-295-4039 x1 WaterWatch of Oregon Applauds Advance of Klamath Dam Removal Long-Delayed Restoration Effort No Longer Held Hostage to Failed Water Agreement Today, WaterWatch applauded Oregon and California’s elected leaders and the Obama Administration for prioritizing the agreement to remove the four lower Klamath River dams, and urged …

Editorial Board: WaterWatch has a valid point about the Deschutes

Editorial Board: WaterWatch has a valid point about the Deschutes Bend Bulletin January 31, 2016 In the matter of the lawsuit filed by WaterWatch of Oregon over the Oregon spotted frog, WaterWatch has a point. We don’t agree with the lawsuit or think a lawsuit is a good strategy for improving the river. But just look at two things — …

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Harm to Deschutes River

For Immediate Release: January 11, 2016 Contact: Jim McCarthy, WaterWatch of Oregon, 541-708-0731 Janette Brimmer, Earthjustice, 206-343-7340, ext. 1029 Lawsuit Filed to Stop Harm to Deschutes River Mismanagement of flows jeopardizing threatened spotted frog, fish, and local livelihoods 2013 Upper Deschutes River fish kill. Photo by Doug La Placa. BEND, OR – Today, WaterWatch of Oregon filed suit in federal district court …

2015 Legislative Roundup

2015 Legislative Roundup With the help of WaterWatch members, the 2015 legislative session ended with critical agency funding intact, the defeat of a slew of bad water bills, and the elevation of a number of important policy issues. We could not have done it without you! Your voices were critical to our success this year. Some of our wins from …

A realistic path forward for the Klamath Basin

A realistic path forward for the Klamath Basin By Jim McCarthy Bend Bulletin December 27, 2015 Parched Lower Klamath NWR, Sept. 20, 2013 A recent editorial unfortunately repeated the claim that Congressional implementation of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) will largely resolve the Klamath’s longstanding water disputes. In reality, this controversial deal would only exacerbate conflicts in the region …

Some Salem households use millions of gallons of water – in a year

Some Salem households use millions of gallons of water – in a year By Tracy Loew Statesman Journal November 14, 2015 It takes 6 1/2 years for the average American family to use 660,000 gallons of water – the amount contained in an Olympic-sized swimming pool. In a single year, 16 Salem households used more than that – some much …

Gov. Kate Brown asks for new approach to Nestle water deal

Gov. Kate Brown asks for new approach to Nestle water deal By Kelly House The Oregonian/OregonLive November 6, 2015 The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife owns the right to water from Oxbow Springs, which it uses to run a salmon hatchery. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will scrap its latest strategy to free up water for a …

Oregon, feds to map cold water fish refuges in Columbia, Willamette rivers

Oregon, feds to map cold water fish refuges in Columbia, Willamette rivers By Kelly House The Oregonian/OregonLive November 3, 2015 Yakama fishermen Rex Zack and Doug Lamere prepare hoop nets on a fishing platform suspended over the Columbia River. Salmon have been central to the economy and culture of Pacific Northwest tribes for centuries. Photo by Casey O’Hara/The Oregonian The …

Miners go to court over suction dredge moratorium

Miners go to court over suction dredge moratorium By Mark Freeman Medford Mail Tribune October 21, 2015 Miners have asked a federal judge to block Oregon’s upcoming moratorium on suction dredge mining in wild salmon rivers such as the Rogue, claiming federal mining laws trump state restrictions on federal lands. A consortium of mining interests filed suit Monday in U.S. …

Yurok Tribe pulls out of Klamath River agreement

Yurok Tribe pulls out of Klamath River agreement By Adam Spencer The Triplicate September 17, 2015 The Williamson River, tributary to Upper Klamath Lake, running through the Fremont-Winema National Forest. The historic agreement designed to end long-standing water wars between fish advocates and farmers throughout the 16,000-square-mile Klamath River Basin appears to be facing collapse. On Tuesday, the Yurok Tribe …

In My View: Restore the Deschutes River to its natural flow

In My View: Restore the Deschutes River to its natural flow By Gail Snyder Bend Bulletin September 17, 2015 2013 Upper Deschutes River fish kill. Photo by Doug La Placa. A recent Bulletin article referenced “natural low flows” in the Deschutes River. That description might be misleading. Under natural conditions, flows in the Deschutes River do not rise and fall …

Guest Opinion: Removal of obsolete dams benefits rivers, the public and landowners

Guest Opinion: Removal of obsolete dams benefits rivers, the public and landowners By Jim McCarthy and Tonya Graham Medford Mail-Tribune September 6, 2015 Demolition crews knock out first notch in Wimer Dam on Evans Creek, a tributary of the Rogue River. Photo by Scott Wright, River Design Group. In recent years, the growing number of successful removals of obsolete dams …

Editorial: Legal Threat is a Wake Up Call

Editorial: Legal Threat is a Wake Up Call BY THE SOURCE STAFF The Source Weekly September 23, 2015 Photo by Gary Nafis, courtesy US Fish and Wildlife. As a society, Americans have a reputation for being litigious. This tendency to sue over every too-hot coffee or too-tall neighbor’s fence is tedious, time consuming, and expensive. But sometimes, lawsuits are the …

In My View: Water usage must change to help the Deschutes River

In My View: Water usage must change to help the Deschutes River By Jeff Perin Bend Bulletin August 27, 2015 2013 Upper Deschutes River fish kill. Photo by Doug La Placa. Fishing is my life. Most days you’ll find me at my fly-fishing shop in Sisters, but every chance I get I head out on the water, either guiding other …

Feds release extra water to save Klamath salmon from disease

Feds release extra water to save Klamath salmon from disease By JEFF BARNARD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS August 21, 2015 This Oct. 1, 2002 file photo shows dead salmon along the Klamath River near Klamath, Calif., after a disease outbreak that killed an estimated 60,000 salmon. With water scarce in Northern California’s Klamath Basin, a federal agency is again releasing cool, …

Tribes call on bureau to release fish-kill prevention flows this week

Tribes call on bureau to release fish-kill prevention flows this week By Will Houston Eureka Times-Standard August 17, 2015 2002 Klamath River fish kill. With ceremonial dam release flows expected to reach the Trinity River waters near Hoopa this evening, federal and tribal officials are still working out the details and timeline on another set of dam releases proposed to …

WaterWatch of Oregon Issues Warning to Protect Deschutes River

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 13, 2015 CONTACT: Jim McCarthy, WaterWatch of Oregon, 541-708-0731 60-Day Notice is available here. WaterWatch of Oregon Issues Warning to Protect Deschutes River Irregular streamflows are harming fish, wildlife and local livelihoods Bend – Today, WaterWatch of Oregon announced its intention to challenge the Central Oregon Irrigation District, North Unit Irrigation District, Tumalo Irrigation District, and the …

Feds threatened with second suit over Deschutes River management practices

Feds threatened with second suit over Deschutes River management practices By Kelly House The Oregonian/OregonLive August 13, 2015 A second environmental group has announced plans to sue the federal government over dam management practices that, it claims, are harming wildlife in the Deschutes River. WaterWatch of Oregon has issued notice to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and three Bend-area irrigation …

Top Priority Dam Removal Nears Completion in Rogue River Basin

For Immediate Release August 10, 2015 Contacts: Bob Hunter, WaterWatch of Oregon Board Member, 541-778-3310 Brian Barr, Geos Institute Project Manager, 541-621-7226 Denise Hoffert, American Rivers, 541-619-5896 John DeVoe, WaterWatch of Oregon Executive Director, 503-295-4039 Photos and map showing both dams are available here. Video of Wimer Dam removal available here. Top Priority Dam Removal Nears Completion in Rogue River Basin Demolition …

Tribe files dam lawsuit amicus

Tribe files dam lawsuit amicus Yuroks join Hoopa Valley effort against Klamath dams By Adam Spencer The Triplicate October 8, 2015 The Yurok tribe filed a friend of the court brief Friday in support of the Hoopa Valley Tribe’s lawsuit that asks the U.S. Court of Appeals to force a federal agency to end eight years of relicensing delays for …

State will test fish-passage mitigation bank

State will test fish-passage mitigation bank By Mark Freeman Mail Tribune August 7, 2015 State fish managers will test-drive a new, big-picture approach to fixing fish-passage barriers by bypassing otherwise required work on some bridges and culverts in favor of larger barriers that will generate greater benefits for wild salmon and open more usable habitat for them. Despite warnings that …

2 Of Oregon’s Worst Dams For Fish Are Coming Down

2 Of Oregon’s Worst Dams For Fish Are Coming Down by Jes Burns OPB/EarthFix August 5, 2015 Demolition crews knock out first notch in Wimer Dam on Evans Creek, a tributary of the Rogue River. Photo by River Design Group Evans Creek is barely a trickle. A dry summer in Southern Oregon means the important salmon and steelhead creek, a …

Is Lake Oswego too thirsty for the Clackamas to handle?

Is Lake Oswego too thirsty for the Clackamas to handle? Lake Oswego wants the ability to take another 22 million gallons a day from the Clackamas River. Conservationists fear fish won’t survive. by Sara Roth KGW.com August 4, 2015   PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland metro area may be protected from the drought that’s encompassing the majority of Oregon, but …

‘Mitigation banking’

‘Mitigation banking’ Project would allow smaller fish-habitat improvements to slide in favor of bigger returns By Mark Freeman Mail Tribune August 2, 2015 State fish managers hope a new, big-picture approach to fixing fish-passage barriers by bypassing otherwise required work on some bridges and culverts in favor of larger barriers will generate greater benefits for wild salmon and open more …

Opinion: It’s Time to Acknowledge KBRA Isn’t a Solution

Opinion: It’s Time to Acknowledge KBRA Isn’t a Solution By Jim McCarthy Two Rivers Tribune July 28, 2015 Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath River The Klamath Basin is again suffering another punishing drought year. Locals and coastal fishing communities are again hoping that Klamath salmon won’t suffer more harm from a reckless federal water management plan that has repeatedly …

Basin water pact stalled in Senate

Basin water pact stalled in Senate By LACEY JARRELL Herald & News July 12, 2015 Iron Gate Dam on the Klamath River. Supporters of federal Klamath legislation have admitted the river’s outdated dams will come out even without bill passage. Parties to the Klamath water settlements are stuck treading water until lawmakers make a move to push the Basin’s landmark …