Oregon Water Resources Department

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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WaterWatch Supporters, Staff to Testify in Support of Groundwater Allocation Revisions at Final OWRD Groundwater Meeting in Salem

May 20, 2024 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For information please contact: Tommy Hough (pr: “how”), WaterWatch of Oregon, tommy@waterwatch.org WHEN: Tuesday, May 21st – 5:30 to 9 p.m. (information session to begin at 5:30 p.m., public meeting to begin at 7 p.m.) WHERE: North Mall Office Building 725 Summer St. NE Room 124 Salem, OR 97301 WHAT:

WaterWatch Supporters, Staff to Testify in Support of Groundwater Allocation Revisions at Final OWRD Groundwater Meeting in Salem Read More »

Oregon Water Partnership Supports Appointment of Ivan Gall as Director of Oregon Water Resources Department

May 10, 2024 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For information please contact: Tommy Hough, WaterWatch of Oregon, tommy@waterwatch.org Oregon Water Partnership Supports Appointment of Ivan Gall as Director of Oregon Water Resources Department Oregon Senate to begin confirmation process of 26-year agency veteran at the end of May. Salem, Oregon — The Oregon Water Partnership (OWP) supports

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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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Oregon Water Partnership Recognizes Progress in 2024 Legislative Session

March 20, 2024 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ahead of World Water Day, Oregon Water Partnership Recognizes Progress in 2024 Legislative Session Coalition applauds Legislature’s attention to important water issues during 32-day “short session.”  Salem, Oregon — The Oregon Water Partnership (OWP) applauds the Oregon Legislature’s attention to important water issues during the 32-day “short session,” including

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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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Oregon Water Partnership Praises Proposal to Modernize State Groundwater Allocation Rules

Nov. 6, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For information please contact: Tommy Hough, WaterWatch of Oregon, tommy@waterwatch.org Oregon Water Partnership Praises Science-Based Proposal to Modernize State’s Groundwater Allocation Rules As groundwater depletion becomes an even greater crisis throughout Oregon and the U.S., the Oregon Water Resources Department has developed science-based rules to put Oregon on a

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State Signals It’s Likely to Deny Redmond’s Application for Future Groundwater

By Joe Siess and Tim Trainor  |  Oct. 16, 2023  |  Redmond Spokesman The state, which has proposed new rules to Oregon’s groundwater permitting process, has signaled the city of Redmond’s application for a future groundwater permit would likely be denied. The Oregon Water Resources Department is reviewing the city’s application and taking a second

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Central Oregon Cities Poke Holes in State Plans to Tighten Groundwater Rules

By Emily Cureton Cook  |  Oct. 2, 2023  |  Oregon Public Broadcasting Oregon water managers are considering the most consequential water policy changes the state has seen in decades. These changes would crack down on new groundwater rights, making it more difficult for people to drill wells. Advocates say this is critical to protect the

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ODFW Official Acknowledges “Hundreds of Thousands” of Fish Deaths in Winchester Dam Disaster

Sept. 29, 2023 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE For information please contact: Jim McCarthy, WaterWatch of Oregon, jim@waterwatch.org Tommy Hough, WaterWatch of Oregon, tommy@waterwatch.org Wildlife Official Acknowledges “Hundreds of Thousands” of Fish Deaths in 2023 Winchester Dam Disaster Senate committee probing whether state officials hold dam’s operations and maintenance to appropriate statutory, regulatory standards. Salem, Oregon  —  This Wednesday,

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Conservation Groups Call for End to Aging Umpqua River Dam After Emergency Fish Salvage

By Alex Baumhardt  |  Sept. 18, 2023  |  Oregon Capital Chronicle The 133-year-old Winchester Dam, which essentially provides a private lake for 100 “influential” people near Roseburg, has a history of environmental violations. For two days in early August, a dozen staff from the natural resources department of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe

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Oregon Regulators Deny Another Bid for Water at Thornburgh Resort

By Emily Cureton Cook  |  July 25, 2023  |  Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) State regulators have rejected creating new groundwater rights for a controversial destination resort under construction in Central Oregon. The proposed Thornburgh resort is seeking wells for a development near Redmond, in an area where declining groundwater levels have long raised ecological concerns and

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Support Rivers and Fish as Part of Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS) Update

May 22, 2023 Oregon’s Kitchen Table recently posted a survey to help state officials better understand what water issues are important to you. The information and data collected will ultimately help shape the next iteration of the state’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS). Background: The IWRS is Oregon’s blueprint for meeting both instream and out-of-stream

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River Action Alert: Speak Up for Rivers and Fish in Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy Update

May 9, 2023 We need your help in lending your voice to the water needs of rivers and fish as part of Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS) update. Oregon’s blueprint for meeting both instream and out-of-stream needs, the IWRS is critically important in shaping policies, programs, and budgets for multiple state agencies. First published

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Race to the Bottom: How Central Oregon Groundwater Sells to the Highest Bidders

By Emily Cureton Cook  |  July 19, 2022  |  Oregon Public Broadcasting In Oregon’s fastest-growing region, more residents are struggling to reach an affordable water supply. A developer’s quest to keep pumping tests what state officials are willing to do about it. Editor’s note: This is the third story in a series about how Oregon

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Stricter Groundwater Regulations Contemplated for Oregon

Mateusz Perkowski  |  June 17, 2022  |  Capital Press Oregon water regulators want to impose stricter rules for drilling new irrigation wells next year to preserve groundwater levels and prevent over-pumping. A preliminary analysis of available data suggests that little groundwater across the state is available for new allocations, said Ivan Gall, field services division

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Stricter Groundwater Regulations Contemplated for Oregon

Mateusz Perkowski |  June 17, 2022 |  Capital Press Oregon water regulators want to impose stricter rules for drilling new irrigation wells next year to preserve groundwater levels and prevent over-pumping. A preliminary analysis of available data suggests that little groundwater across the state is available for new allocations, said Ivan Gall, field services division

Stricter Groundwater Regulations Contemplated for Oregon Read More »

Groundwater Over-Allocation in Oregon — the Deschutes, Umatilla, Klamath and Harney Basins

By WaterWatch Staff  |  April 6, 2022  |  Instream While groundwater permitting standards require Oregon to determine whether water is available before issuing a new groundwater permit, in practice, the state all too often lacks enough data to make that determination. As a result, and a habit, the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) often operates

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Urgent Groundwater Reforms Needed for a Sustainable Water Future

By WaterWatch Staff  |  April 5, 2022  |  Instream WaterWatch works across Oregon in administrative, collaborative, legislative and legal forums to advocate for reforms needed to secure sustainable groundwater management. WaterWatch has identified five critical and urgent reforms needed to put Oregon on a course to manage groundwater sustainably: 1  —  Stop issuing permits without

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Race to the Bottom: How Big Business Took Over Oregon’s First Protected Aquifer

By Emily Cureton Cook  |  March 16, 2022  |  Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) In Malheur County’s Cow Valley, state regulators have ignored known issues with overpumping groundwater, leaving the region at risk of economic and ecological damage that will be difficult to reverse. The warnings were hard to miss on a forsaken stretch of Highway

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Oregon’s Lake Abert is “In Deep Trouble.” The State Shut Down Its Effort to Figure Out Why

By Rob Davis  |  Jan. 16, 2022  |  The Oregonian When Oregon’s only saltwater lake mysteriously dried up in 2014, turning a vibrant landscape teeming with migratory birds into a desiccated, abandoned salt pan, state environmental regulators mobilized. Lake Abert, a 64-square-mile lake in south central Oregon’s high desert, had gone almost completely dry for

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Draining Oregon: Lawmaker strips specific dollar amounts out of water fee bill, Oregonian,

By Andrew Theen  |  April 19, 2017  |  The Oregonian A House committee gave its blessing this week to a bill that would charge an annual fee to tens of thousands of Oregon water rights holders — but not without a last second twist. Rep. Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, introduced an amendment to his proposed water user

Draining Oregon: Lawmaker strips specific dollar amounts out of water fee bill, Oregonian, Read More »

Draining Oregon: Bill to Fund $8.2 Million in Groundwater Studies Passes Key Hurdle

By Andrew Theen  |  April 14, 2017  |  The Oregonian The House Committee on Energy and the Environment on Wednesday endorsed House Bill 2707, which some lawmakers say would dramatically accelerate the state’s ability to analyze its groundwater supply. That legislation now heads to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the state’s budget writing

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Draining Oregon: State Regulators Must Stop Approving Wells When Water Levels Are Unknown

By the Oregonian Editorial Board  |  Sept. 10, 2016  |  The Oregonian: Draining Oregon 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 the well. Yet time

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