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Westland Water Users hope to educate, not miss future opportunities

A group of Westland Irrigation District patrons is mounting a public information campaign after missing out on Columbia River water supplies. George PlavenEast Oregonian

November 4, 2017 9:07PM

A group of Westland Irrigation District patrons is mounting its own public information campaign to provide greater knowledge and transparency of water law in the Umatilla Basin.

The effort comes in the middle of a lawsuit filed against Westland by other district members who claim they are being cheated out of […]

Continue reading Westland Water Users hope to educate, not miss future opportunities

Water is the main issue for Representative Bentz

October 31, 2017

ONTARIO, Oregon – Oregon Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) wants to be selected to take over retiring Sen. Ted Ferrioli’s (R-John Day) seat in the Senate. He feels he could be more effective for rural Oregon in that role, but plans to run for reelection for his current seat in the 60thDistrict if he’s not selected to fill […]

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EPA DISTRIBUTES FUNDING FOR WATER QUALITY MONITORING IN OREGON, WASHINGTON, OHIO

From the EPA:

SEATTLE and CHICAGO, OCT 17, 2017 — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded more than $43M to water systems in Oregon, Washington, and Ohio.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality was awarded nearly $2 million to protect water quality through a Nonpoint Source Program Clean Water Act (Section 319) cooperative agreement. This grant is given to states to implement environmental programs that address nonpoint source pollution in surface and groundwater in order to meet and […]

Continue reading EPA DISTRIBUTES FUNDING FOR WATER QUALITY MONITORING IN OREGON, WASHINGTON, OHIO

Plans for Nestle water bottling plant in Cascade Locks moves forward despite ban

October 18, 2017

CASCADE LOCKS, OR

Plans for a Nestle water bottling plant in Cascade Locks continue to move forward, in spite of a voter-approved ballot measure prohibiting such a plant in Hood River County.

In May, 2016, voters in Hood River County passed a measure that banned large water bottling operations, which many thought signaled an end to Nestle’s ambitions for the Columbia River Gorge, but despite the vote, the city of Cascade Locks has been […]

Continue reading Plans for Nestle water bottling plant in Cascade Locks moves forward despite ban

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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