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Oregon water allocation may complicate ‘live flows’ irrigation

By Mateusz Perkowski | Capital Press | Jan. 8, 2021 Oregon irrigators may face complications from the commitment of about 1 million acre-feet of water behind Willamette Valley dams to in-stream environmental purposes. Until now, state water regulators have treated water released from the 13 dams as “live flows,” which can be accessed by irrigators with surface water rights in …

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Oregon irrigators gain access to Willamette dam water

By Mateusz Perkowski | Capital Press | Jan. 8, 2021 Farmers, under new federal law, have gained access to about 328,000 acre-feet of water stored behind 13 dams in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. However, they’d be wise to wait until further regulatory processes are finished before installing irrigation structures to take advantage of the newly available water, experts say. “We’re not …

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Change is Coming to Harney Basin Agriculture

By Matuesz Perkowski | The Other Oregon | Dec. 24, 2020 Agriculture in Oregon’s Harney Basin faces a situation akin to being chased by an aggressive dog, according to farmer Mark Owens. Irrigators realize it’s going to hurt, he says, but they won’t know how much until it actually bites them in the ass. “Change is on the way and …

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Fishing, environmental groups file suit in Eugene over Umpqua River dam

Gillian Flaccus | Associated Press | Nov. 11, 2020 A coalition of environmental and fishing groups are suing a water district in southern Oregon over an aging, privately owned dam that they say hinders the passage of struggling salmon populations in the pristine North Umpqua River. The lawsuit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Eugene, asks a judge to …

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Oregon water regulators asked to limit ‘stockwatering exemption’

By MATEUSZ PERKOWSKI | Capital Press | Oct 8, 2020 Critics of large dairies are asking Oregon water regulators to limit new groundwater pumping by such operations within 257 square miles of Umatilla and Morrow counties. A coalition of environmental groups and others called Stand Up to Factory Farms has submitted a petition asking the Oregon Water Resources Department to restrict …

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Guest View: Fish need to feel the flow

by Brian Posewitz | June 13, 2020 | Register Guard The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns 13 reservoirs on major tributaries to the Willamette River, including well-known reservoirs such as Fern Ridge on the Long Tom, Lookout Point on the Middle Fork of the Willamette, Cougar on the South Fork of the McKenzie and Detroit on the North Fork …