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One year later: little changes with state ground water management

The agency tasked with regulating Oregon’s groundwater still can’t say how much is available or being pumped from the earth, one year after an investigative series exposed longstanding problems.

In the year since The Oregonian/OregonLive’s “Draining Oregon” series examined the Water Resources Department and the practices that feed the imbalance between the state’s water supply […]

Continue reading One year later: little changes with state ground water management

State denies reconsideration for Lost Valley Farm

Despite concerns of water pollution and contamination, the agencies responsible for permitting a 30,000-cow dairy farm in Morrow County will not be reconsidering their decision.

Lost Valley Farm, located on a portion of what used to be the Boardman Tree Farm, was issued a controversial wastewater handling permit March 31 from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Quality, which together administer the state’s confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs.

Opponents of the dairy filed what’s known as […]

Continue reading State denies reconsideration for Lost Valley Farm

New agricultural wells prohibited in Oregon’s Walla Walla subbasin

Mateusz PerkowskiCapital Press Published on May 11, 2017 4:44PM

SALEM — Oregon’s water regulators have unanimously voted to stop permitting new agricultural wells in Northeast Oregon’s 300,000-acre Walla Walla subbasin due to groundwater depletion concerns.

At its May 11 meeting, the Oregon Water Resources Commission also designated the subbasin as a “serious water management problem area,” which means irrigators with existing basalt wells must install flow meters to measure their water usage and report it to state regulators.

The restriction […]

Continue reading New agricultural wells prohibited in Oregon’s Walla Walla subbasin

Irrigators criticize $100 water rights fee proposal

SALEM — A proposed $100 annual fee on all Oregon water rights has met with criticism from irrigators who say it would contribute to already mounting financial burdens.

Farmers overwhelmingly testified against House Bill 2706, which aims to raise money for water management, during a March 22 hearing before the House Committee on Energy and Environment.

Members of the Klamath Water Users Association, for example, are already paying steep costs to comply with the Endangered Species Act and engage in […]

Continue reading Irrigators criticize $100 water rights fee proposal

Oregon mega-dairy construction raises questions about legality

Tracy Loew January 10, 2017

Statesman-Journal Is a controversial mega-dairy proposed for Oregon’s eastern Columbia Gorge breaking the law by proceeding with construction before getting any water quality permits or even registering as a business?

A dozen state and national health and environmental groups think so, and they’ve formally asked state agencies to investigate.

“Lost Valley Ranch may be constructing the second-largest confined animal feeding operation in the state of Oregon outside the requirements of state law,” the coalition wrote […]

Continue reading Oregon mega-dairy construction raises questions about legality

Legislators need to find out why state lacks data on groundwater

Water’s a conflict-ridden subject in much of Eastern Oregon, especially the Klamath Basin. Anything that even faintly smells like it might restrict water rights, especially in rural agricultural areas, is in for a fight.

So it’s likely that a set of groundwater bills filed by a Beaverton state representative dealing with information and fees will be viewed with heavy suspicion if not outright opposition by those who depend on groundwater. That includes farmers and ranchers in the Basin.

The pressure […]

Continue reading Legislators need to find out why state lacks data on groundwater

Stop the drain on Oregon’s groundwater

John DeVoe and Bob Van Dyk 9:04 p.m. PST November 7, 2016

Media coverage has exposed Oregon’s dangerously shortsighted management of our precious groundwater supplies and the widespread problems created by outdated, spottily applied or underfunded groundwater protections. The resulting public outcry, including editorials from around the state, has already prompted the Legislature to hold an informational hearing on groundwater.

All this conversation is healthy. Now comes the hard part: we need to make sure that the state enacts specific […]

Continue reading Stop the drain on Oregon’s groundwater

Area water issues

Mike Denny Wildfiles Nov 6, 2016

Union-Bulletin.com

The winter before that we had all of 26 inches of snow.

My point is that water from the Blue Mountains is an unpredictable natural resource, yet every living animal and plant is entirely dependent on water for the present and the future.

In September and October, I attended a pair of meetings presented by the Oregon State WRC (Water Resource Commission) in Milton-Freewater, and their great concern about the deep basalt aquifer […]

Continue reading Area water issues

A water transfer approved getting the city of Cascade Locks closer to being able to sell spring water to Nestle

Sara Roth and Pat Dooris, KGW 4:44 PM. PDT November 03, 2016

SALEM, Ore. – A water transfer was approved Friday, getting the city of Cascade Locks closer to being able to sell spring water to Nestle, despite a county vote against the water bottling plant.

At the crux of the city’s plan to sell spring water to Nestle is getting a water swap between the city and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife approved.

Nestle wants spring water, […]

Continue reading A water transfer approved getting the city of Cascade Locks closer to being able to sell spring water to Nestle

Draining Oregon: State regulators must stop approving wells when water levels are unknown

By The Oregonian Editorial Board on September 10, 2016 at 10:00 AM, 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 and again, Oregon Water Resources Department managers approved the application.

The lax regulatory culture is so engrained, some farmers and ranchers began pumping their wells before submitting […]

Continue reading Draining Oregon: State regulators must stop approving wells when water levels are unknown