Water News

Submit Written Remarks in Support of Revised Groundwater Allocation Rules by 5 p.m. TODAY

The public comment period to submit remarks to the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) on proposed revisions to the agency’s groundwater permit allocation process is rapidly drawing to a close. Your remarks must be received by 5 p.m. this Friday, June 14th. If enacted, these long-overdue updates will begin to rein in the state’s decades-long pattern

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Instream: At Long Last, Revised Groundwater Rules for Oregon

By WaterWatch of Oregon Staff  |  April 18, 2024  |  Instream After an exhaustive and scientifically rigorous process, the Oregon Water Resources Department published proposed groundwater allocation rules reliant upon science and data to implement Oregon’s forward-looking 1955 Ground Water Act — and put Oregon on a more sustainable path to smart, sensible, environmentally-sound groundwater

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Declining Aquifer Levels Raise Alarm Among Central Oregon Hydrologists and Officials

By Michael Kohn  |  April 13, 2024  |  Bend Bulletin Amid patches of snow and ponderosa pines, a half mile from Lava Island Falls in the Deschutes River, a pair of hydrologists with the Oregon Water Resources Department dropped a cable down an observation well to determine the depth of groundwater near Bend. The cable

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Comment on the State’s Integrated Water Resource Strategy (IWRS) Update

Note: We’re currently between Oregon Water Resources Department comment periods for the IWRS update. When the state resumes taking comments we’ll let you know — thanks! The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) will soon resume collecting public comments on its ongoing update of the state’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS). Originally adopted in 2012 with

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WaterWatch of Oregon Hiring Full-Time Development Officer

WaterWatch of Oregon is seeking a Development Officer to help develop and implement strategic fundraising for the organization to meet its annual budget and fund expansion set forth in WaterWatch’s Strategic Plan. WaterWatch is a non‐profit organization founded in 1985 with a mission to protect and restore streamflows in Oregon’s rivers for native fish, wildlife

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Oregon’s Thermal Trading Program is Popular — It’s Also Expensive and Unproven

By Kendra Chamberlain  |  Feb. 29, 2024  |  Columbia Insight In 2012, President Barack Obama praised a deal the city of Medford had made with the state to pay for shade trees to be planted along the Rogue River in order to offset the impacts of warm water discharges from the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

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As Massive Klamath Dam Removal Project Nears Completion, Who Gets Once-Submerged Land?

By Kurtis Alexander  |  Feb. 22, 2024  |  San Francisco Chronicle The nation’s largest dam-removal project, the dismantling of four hydroelectric dams near the border of California and Oregon border, may be the end of one story — but it’s the beginning of another. The native Shasta people, who were exiled from the banks of the

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Uncharted Waters: As Groundwater Dwindles, Powerful Players Block Change

By Christopher Flavelle  |  Produced by Claire O’Neill, Matt McCann and Umi Syam  |  Edited by Lyndsey Layton and Douglas Alteen  |  Research contributed by Julie Tate  |  Nov. 24, 2023  |  New York Times Some of the people fighting efforts to conserve a vital resource that’s disappearing across the United States include the owners

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Court of Appeals Denies Proposed Drift Creek Dam But Water District Intends to Appeal

By Bill Poehler  |  Nov. 17, 2023  |  Salem Statesman Journal The Oregon Water Resources Commission and the Court of Appeals have prohibited the dam, saying it might harm cutthroat trout that spawn in the creek. Oregon’s Court of Appeals this month upheld a previous ruling prohibiting construction of a new dam south of Silverton

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Oregon Water Officials Say Permitting Must Change to Keep Tens of Thousands of Wells from Going Dry

By Alex Baumhardt  |  Nov. 13, 2023  |  Oregon Capital Chronicle The cost of digging deeper wells could climb into the hundreds of millions if the state does not revamp groundwater permitting, officials told lawmakers. The Oregon Water Resources Department must update its 68-year-old rules for permitting new wells or double down on regulating existing

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Denial of Permit to Build Dam on Drift Creek Marks Major Legal Victory for Instream Water Rights

Court upholds Oregon Water Resources Commission determination that the dam would harm fish and habitat. Good news: WaterWatch of Oregon has won the latest round in its fight to stop construction of a 70-foot-high dam on Drift Creek, a tributary of the Pudding River in Marion County. On Wednesday, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld

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