Senate OKs surcharge for Klamath dam removal

Senate OKs surcharge for Klamath dam removal By Matt Preusch and Ted Sickinger Oregonian February 17, 2009   The Oregon Senate passed a bill Tuesday to pay for removing four Klamath River dams with a 2 percent surcharge on the Oregon ratepayers of Pacific Power. Senate Bill 76 was approved 18-12 on largely partisan lines with Sen. Jason Atkinson of …

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

Metolius resort may face water snag

Metolius resort may face water snag By Nick Budnick Bend Bulletin February 14, 2009 Talks are under way on Ponderosa’s well plan, but it may go to a judge SALEM — The Ponderosa Land and Cattle Co. wants to drill as many as 10 wells 1,000 feet into the earth to draw water for the company’s proposed 2,500-unit destination resort …

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 …

Bill would pass cost of Klamath Dam removal to ratepayers

Bill would pass cost of Klamath Dam removal to ratepayers By Matthew Preusch Oregonian February 03, 2009   A plan to pass much of the tab for removing Klamath River dams to Oregon power users gets its first hearing in Salem today. The bill is considered a critical step in a larger agreement amongst farmers, fishers, tribes and others to …

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 …

A creek runs through it

A creek runs through it By Mark Freeman Mail Tribune September 14, 2008   The dam has been notched and water has started to find its way. Now all that’s needed is for the fish to return Timeline of Elk Creek Dam Elk Creek Dam was originally authorized as part of the Rogue Basin’s trio of dams meant to control …

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 …

Smart Water Usage: Methods Abound for Prudent Management

Smart Water Usage: Methods Abound for Prudent Management By Stefanie Knowlton Statesman Journal (pdf) August 22, 2008 Landscapes account for about half of all the residential water use in Oregon during the summer. Save money and water with landscape planning that features a focus on water conservation. Gadgets and Gauges Even if you don’t have an irrigation system, you can …

Gold Hill Diversion Dam Removal: An Accomplishment to Celebrate

Gold Hill Diversion Dam Removal: An Accomplishment to Celebrate July 16, 2008   At 10:00 AM on Wednesday, July 16th WaterWatch joins project partners and elected officials in celebrating the removal of the Gold Hill Diversion Dam Removal.  This cement diversion dam is the second greatest barrier to fish passage in the Rogue River. The public is welcome! What: Gold Hill …

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 …

End of a controversial dam

End of a controversial dam By Mark Freeman Mail Tribune July 16, 2008 Explosives launch a $7.9 million project to notch Elk Creek Dam for salmon recovery TRAIL — The crack of explosives Tuesday sent waves of concrete crumbling and launched a plume of dust skyward, signaling the beginning of the end to Elk Creek Dam. Construction crews detonated the …

Gold Hill Celebrates Dam Removal

Gold Hill Celebrates Dam Removal By Chris Jones KTVL News 10 July 16, 2008 They’re celebrating in Gold Hill as crews prepare to remove the Gold Hill Dam. Part of the dam was torn out last week and the rest will be gone by the end of the month. Before long you’ll be able to see the Rogue River near …

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. …

Farewell, Gold Hill diversion dam

Farewell, Gold Hill diversion dam By Buffy Pollock Mail Tribune July 13, 2008 Gold Hill celebrates the removal of a fish-blocking dam on the Rogue River GOLD HILL — Residents and local officials will bid a long-overdue farewell Wednesday to one of the biggest fish barriers on the Rogue River in an official “dam breaking celebration” near the city’s sports …

Feds tell irrigators Klamath salmon need more water

Feds tell irrigators Klamath salmon need more water Ag Weekly (AP) June 23, 2008   GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Federal fisheries biologists want more water in the Klamath River to keep coho salmon from heading closer to extinction. After evaluating the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s latest plans for splitting water between irrigators and fish, the NOAA Fisheries Service said …

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 …

Salmon runs on Rogue expected to revive once dams come down

Salmon runs on Rogue expected to revive once dams come down By Matthew Preusch Oregonian June 09, 2008   One of Oregon’s storied rivers is on the cusp of a major makeover. What’s happening on the Rogue River isn’t so much transformation as reversion. Dams built during the previous century will come down. Reservoirs will return to running water. And …

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. …

Rogue River dams to come down

Rogue River dams to come down By Matthew Preusch Oregonian June 08, 2008 Salmon runs are expected to grow in iconic Oregon river GRANTS PASS — One of Oregon’s iconic rivers is on the cusp of a major makeover. What’s happening on the Rogue River isn’t so much transformation as reversion. Dams built during the previous century will come down. …

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 …

State Needs Innovative, Aggressive Water Solutions

State Needs Innovative, Aggressive Water Solutions By Peter Gleick Pacific Institute June 01, 2008   A version of this essay was originally printed in the Sacramento Bee on June 1, 2008. For more than a decade, California has had relatively adequate winter rains and mostly full reservoirs. No longer. We had the opportunity to fix many of our water problems while the …

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 …

The End of an Era

The End of an Era By Mark Freeman Mail Tribune May 16, 2008 Credit: Mail Tribune ROGUE RIVER — As the last steel panel descended by crane and slipped into place at Savage Rapids Dam, Grants Pass Irrigation District Manager Dan Shepard was too distracted to relish history. His eyes were riveted on three GPID workers, all wearing life jackets, …

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 …

Un-Damming Elk Creek: Controversial Rogue River dam to make way for salmon

Un-Damming Elk Creek: Controversial Rogue River dam to make way for salmon By Camilla Mortensen Eugene Weekly May 15, 2008   More than 20 years after its construction was halted in 1987, the Elk Creek Dam, which has long blocked endangered salmon runs in the Rogue River Basin, is coming down. Mostly, anyway. The Army Corps of Engineers is starting …

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 …

NEC weighs stance on Klamath agreement

NEC weighs stance on Klamath agreement By John Driscoll Times-Standard May 14, 2008   Scientific and legal reviews commissioned by the Northcoast Environmental Center may have the environmental group reconsidering its position not to support the Klamath River settlement agreement hatched earlier this year. Utah State University Klamath researcher Thomas Hardy wrote to the NEC in an April review that …

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.

New dam proposals restart 1970s-era fights

New dam proposals restart 1970s-era fights By Colin Sullivan (ClimateWire) EarthNews May 07, 2008   ClimateWire: SAN FRANCISCO — Wallace Stegner, the chronicler of the American West, had a simple response when asked to explain the economics of California. “Water,” he said famously. “It’s about the water.” Stegner’s truism is relevant now more than ever. Climate change is giving the …

Don’t rush toward flawed Klamath deal

Don’t rush toward flawed Klamath deal By Steve Pedery and Bob Hunter Times-Standard May 02, 2008   Recent Times-Standard My Word columns (Greg King, March 20; Felice Pace, March 26; Walter Duffy, April 7) make clear that the long history of water battles in the west is far from resolved. Some raise concerns over river flows and fish, while others …

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 …

Sorting through our salmon mystery

Sorting through our salmon mystery By Tim Harmon Oregonian May 02, 2008   As the owner of one of the oldest charter companies on the West Coast, I’ve been asked many times lately about where all the salmon have gone this year. Good question. My charter service has the most experienced captains on the coast, with collectively more than 180 …

Water Trade-Off Bolsters Rivers

Water Trade-Off Bolsters Rivers By James Sinks Bend Bulletin April 22, 2008 SALEM — The straws are drilled deep underground, sucking more water to satisfy the thirst of development across Central Oregon. Yet at the same time, there’s more water flowing down the Deschutes River during the dry summer months when once it ran low. In short, the state’s first …

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 …

Oregon consortium to evaluate Umatilla Basin aquifer recovery

Oregon consortium to evaluate Umatilla Basin aquifer recovery Columbia Basin Fish & Wildlife News Bulletin April 18, 2008   The Oregon Water Resources Department this week signed a $750,000 contract with an Oregon-based consortium led by IRZ Consulting, GSI Water Solutions, and HDR Engineering to evaluate the feasibility of a “Umatilla Basin Aquifer Recovery Project.” A bill authorizing the study …

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 …