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State officials let mega-dairy use loophole to tap endangered Oregon aquifer

State officials let mega-dairy use loophole to tap endangered Oregon aquifer By: Tracy Loew, Statesman Journal   March 22, 2018 A year after it opened, Oregon’s second-largest dairy has not secured rights to the nearly 1 million gallons of water per day it needs for its thousands of cows and to process milk. Instead, Lost Valley Farm near Boardman moved ahead without the necessary permits, using …

Oregon Senate passes permanent dredging-ban bill

Oregon Senate passes permanent dredging-ban bill By Mark Freeman 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 on Monday

Proposed Oregon mega-dairy wins key permit

Proposed Oregon mega-dairy wins key permit by Tracy Loew 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. Lost Valley Farm would be the second-largest confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) in the state, after neighboring …

Draining Oregon: Lawmakers plan hearings on 3 water bills

Draining Oregon: Lawmakers plan hearings on 3 water bills by Andrew Theen The Oregonian/OregonLive 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. Rep. Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, introduced the bills on the heels of a …

Judge Orders More Water Releases From Klamath River Dams

Judge Orders More Water Releases From Klamath River Dams by Cassandra Profita OPB/EarthFix 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. In recent drought years, scientists have found extremely high rates of a disease caused by …

Conservation Groups Sue To Get More Water To Klamath Wildlife Refuges

Conservation Groups Sue To Get More Water To Klamath Wildlife Refuges by Jes Burns OPB/EarthFix 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 …

Klamath dam removals heavily supported by community

Klamath dam removals heavily supported by community by Natalya Estrada The Eureka 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 on Thursday evening. The board set out to gather …

Audit: Oregon’s water watchdog agency is understaffed, overworked, has no plan for future

Audit: Oregon’s water watchdog agency is understaffed, overworked, has no plan for future by Andrew Theen The Oregonian/OregonLive December 15, 2016 Oregon’s Water Resources Department doesn’t have enough inspectors to enforce the state’s water laws, has no “clear understanding” of how much water is being used statewide and has no plan for the future, according to an audit released Thursday. …

Rescue effort aims to save stranded Deschutes River fish

Rescue effort aims to save stranded Deschutes River fish Annual die-off occurs at small channel when river flows are reduced By Hilary Corrigan The Bulletin October 14, 2016 Volunteers and contractors spent part of this week shocking, netting and moving stranded fish from a dry river channel near Bend in what’s become an annual fish rescue. Fish get stranded along …

Klamath Irrigators Should Not Have Gotten $32M From Federal Agency: Report

Klamath Irrigators Should Not Have Gotten $32M From Federal Agency: Report by Jes Burns OPB/EarthFix October 13, 2016 A new audit finds that Klamath irrigators should not have received millions of dollars in taxpayer money. The money was used to pay farmers not to use scarce water supplies from streams and rivers in the Klamath Basin straddling Oregon and California. …

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.

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 …

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 …

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 — …

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 …