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Portland Water Bureau changes approach to treating lead in water

By Jessica Floum | The Oregonian/OregonLive

February 26, 2017

The Portland Water Bureau will ask the City Council to try treating the area’s drinking water to reduce the amount of lead leaching from pipes, a recommendation that pivots from the city’s previous insistence such treatment was unnecessary.

Portland’s water from the Bull Run watershed has a low enough pH level that it can leach lead from old pipes and fixtures. Adding chemicals that don’t harm human health can make the […]

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Idaho irrigators back bills fighting Oregon fish plan

BOISE — Idaho irrigators are backing four bills in the state Legislature challenging the State of Oregon’s attempt to reintroduce endangered fish into the Snake River watershed upstream of the Hells Canyon Complex of dams.

For decades, the Brownlee, Oxbow and Hells Canyon dams — which provide about 30 percent of Idaho Power Co.’s total energy — have blocked the migration of anadromous salmon and steelhead trout, which once spawned in the upstream channel and tributaries.

The original federal license […]

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Oregon gets most rain and snow since 2008

It’s not your imagination: Oregon has received a ton of rain and snow this winter.

The deluge of precipitation is the most the Beaver State has seen since 2008, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The result has been frequent headaches including flooding and roads snarled by snow. But the upside, said water managers, is an improved forecast for river levels, reservoir storage and forest and wildlife health this summer.

It also raises hopes that Oregon will break the […]

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Seven Oregon dams in ‘unsatisfactory’ condition

AP February 14, 2017

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Seven Oregon dams are deemed to be in “unsatisfactory” condition.

State Water Resources Department spokeswoman Diana Enright tells the Statesman Journal (https://is.gd/iQAsl1 ) the designation means those dams are more closely inspected and could be labeled unsafe if repairs are not made.

Questions about dam safety have risen since a damaged one in Northern California led authorities to order the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people.

The list of unsatisfactory dams in Oregon […]

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Prineville-area dam one of seven in Ore. listed as high hazard

by Jessie Foster February 14, 2017

BEND, Ore. – The Johnson Creek Dam about five miles northeast of Prineville is one of seven dams the Oregon Water Resources Department has ranked as an “unsatisfactory,” high-hazard dam, meaning a dam failure could likely cause fatalities.

About seven homes in the Prineville area could be directly affected if the Johnson Creek Dam fails, according to state officials.

The Oregon Water Resources Department sent a letter to the owners of the dam, Debaca […]

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Portland switching water source after potentially deadly parasite found

Created on Monday, 13 February 2017 | Written by Jim Redden | Print Beginning Monday, 100 percent of the city’s water will be coming from the Columbia South Shore Well Field. It is normally used as a second source of water in the summer months after the Bull Run reservoir is drawn down to reduce turbidity. PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO – Portland has switched its water source from the Bull Run reservoir to groundwater wells along the Columbia River. PORTLAND […]

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Portland finds parasite in drinking water, raising possible need for treatment plant

By Jessica Floum

February 06, 2017

Portland’s water bureau detected a trace amount of cryptosporidium parasite in a test of drinking water from the Bull Run watershed again Monday.

After four straight years not finding any cryptosporidium during weekly water samplings, the city has now detected the parasite four times this year, raising the specter that the city might have to build an expensive treatment plant.

This week’s finding does not raise immediate alarms for human health, officials said. The […]

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Portland teen discovers cost-effective way to turn salt water into drinkable fresh water

Updated: Feb 03, 2017 10:30 AM PST By Kaitlyn Bolduc

Chaitanya Karamchedu, a Portland teen who is turning heads across the country because of a science experiment. PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A Portland teen is turning heads across the country all because of a science experiment that began in his high school classroom. Companies like Intel and universities like MIT are now invested in his findings.

With certainty you’ll want to remember his name.

“My name is Chaitanya Karamchedu, but […]

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UCUT study finds trace amount of radiation in migratory salmon Columbia River

Justus Caudell | The Tribune |

NESPELEM—In early December, a number of news agencies reported seaborne radiation from Japan’s Fukushima Nuclear plant was detected in the Pacific Ocean along on the West Coast.

The plant, which first leaked radiation into the Pacific in 2011 following a massive earthquake and tsunami that killed nearly 16,000 people, is feared to still be contaminating the ocean.

The impact of the radiation in the Columbia River—and on migratory salmon that spend their developmental years […]

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California, Oregon farmers lost water in 2001; now they want to be paid

HERALD STAFFSat Jan 28th, 2017 6:51pm By Michael Doyle

McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Northern California and Oregon farmers who lost irrigation water in 2001 for the sake of fish are plunging into a climactic courtroom battle for tens of millions of dollars in compensation.

Years in the making, the trial set to start Monday in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims near the White House involves a lot of money, but that’s not all. For other Westerners, too, it […]

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