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EDITORIAL: Agriculture the most important use of water

Capital Press

November 23, 2017

When it comes to farming in the West, all you have to do is add water.

With water, the West has blossomed. Take a look at the vast Columbia Basin in Washington and the Snake River valley in southern Idaho. And the Central Valley in California. And all of Eastern Oregon.

Anywhere water is available, the predominant color is green, with high-value and high-yield crops dotting the countryside. Without water, the countryside is brown or […]

Continue reading EDITORIAL: Agriculture the most important use of water

Corps takes another look at stored Willamette River Basin water

Eric MortensonCapital Press

Published on November 15, 2017

Willamette Valley farmers and ranchers would have rights to about 250,000 acre-feet of irrigation water annually under a reallocation plan suggested by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Oregon Water Resources Department.

The proposal is the latest attempt to decide who gets access to the water stored behind 13 federal dams in the basin. For agriculture, even in the wet Willamette Valley, water availability in spring and summer is […]

Continue reading Corps takes another look at stored Willamette River Basin water

Underground river: Pipeline to bring water to westside

Jim Redden and John William Howard

November 2, 2017

Westside suburbs are mounting a $1.2 billion project to take drinking water from the Willamette River, with a Portland company playing a major supporting role.

Northwest Pipe Co. has so far provided all of the pipe for the Willamette Water Supply Program, one of the largest public infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the region.

When it is completed, the project will draw water from the Willamette River in Wilsonville and provide […]

Continue reading Underground river: Pipeline to bring water to westside

Salem to sell unused water rights

Tracy Loew, Statesman Journal 5:14 p.m. PDT 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 it. We don’t have any long-term need for it. It’s a great way to turn it into cash,” Salem […]

Continue reading Salem to sell unused water rights

Fed regulators divvying up Oregon’s stored water

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Federal regulators are divvying up the water stored behind 13 dams in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

The Capital Press reports that the dams provide flood control during rainy winter months, but they also hold water that’s designated for use by irrigators, municipalities, industries, recreationists and fish during the spring and summer months.

The U.S. Army corps of Engineers, which operates the dams, wants to determine how much water is allocated for each use by mid-2017.

The agency […]

Continue reading Fed regulators divvying up Oregon’s stored water

Report: Willamette Valley water future mostly bright, though fish mightn’t be so lucky

December 4, 2015 OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – During the next 85 years, temperatures in Oregon’s Willamette River basin are expected to rise significantly, mountain snowpack levels will shrink dramatically, and the population of the region and urban water use may double – but there should be enough water to meet human needs, a new report concludes.

Fish may not be so lucky. Although ample water may be available throughout most of the year, the Willamette Valley and its tributaries likely […]

Continue reading Report: Willamette Valley water future mostly bright, though fish mightn’t be so lucky

Warm water blamed for pre-spawn Chinook salmon deaths

Henry Miller, Statesman Journal June 19, 2015

Chinook salmon are dying on the Willamette River and some tributaries, and biologists with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are saying that elevated water temperatures are the most likely culprit.

Spring Chinook salmon typically die in the fall after they have spawned.

Some die before spawning because of stress, disease and predation.

This year Chinook are dying earlier than usual, according to Tom Friesen, the manager of the department’s Upper Willamette […]

Continue reading Warm water blamed for pre-spawn Chinook salmon deaths

Westifir, Oregon (Lane County) declares water emergency

The Associated Press /

Published Apr 18, 2015 at 12:02AM

WESTFIR — Officials in the small Lane County city of Westfir have declared a water emergency that prohibits outdoor uses of water, including watering lawns, washing cars and filling pools.

Westfir, northwest of Oakridge along Highway 58, sits on the banks of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. Its water system draws from the river and serves more than 110 homes […]

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Wilsonville-to-Hillsboro water line route, just unveiled, is a study in time, patience

Todd Heidgerken is the first to note that long-term water planning isn’t a profession suited to anyone expecting immediate gratification.

As evidence, he pointed to this week’s landmark decision regarding where to build a 30-mile pipeline linking 300,000 current and future Washington County residents with treated drinking water from the Willamette River Treatment Plant in Wilsonville.

The water right that the Tualatin Valley Water District needs to tap the Willamette was secured nearly 40 years ago, […]

Continue reading Wilsonville-to-Hillsboro water line route, just unveiled, is a study in time, patience

Washington County’s long-term water needs on display at ‘virtual’ open house

November 27, 2014 at 8:00 AM, updated November 27, 2014 at 8:02 AM 0http://ww.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2014/11/washington_countys_long-term_w.html#inwcart_river Reddit

The Willamette Water Supply Program is exploring options for future pipeline routes and is seeking public comment.

A series of open houses was held recently at various points in Washington County, but residents have until the end of the day Friday, Nov. 28, to participate in an online “virtual” open house. Visit’s the site’s […]

Continue reading Washington County’s long-term water needs on display at ‘virtual’ open house