OWRD

Support Sustainable Groundwater Management This Spring

The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) has proposed major revisions to how it issues new groundwater permits that will, at last, begin to rein in the state’s decades-long pattern of over-issuing pumping rights. The proposed rules are long overdue and, if enacted, would finally implement the guidelines of Oregon’s forward-looking, landmark 1955 Ground Water Act. […]

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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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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

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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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State Groundwater Management, Capacity and Investment: A Transformative Package

By WaterWatch Staff  |  April 5, 2022  |  Instream In addition to the critical reforms advocated for by WaterWatch to ensure Oregon manages its groundwater in a sustainable manner, funding and agency capacity are also essential. As a result of past underinvestment in groundwater in many areas of the state, the Water Resources Department (OWRD)

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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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