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Aquifer falling, central Washington farmers ask: Where will the water come from?

By Nicholas Deshais nickd@spokesman.com(509) 459-5440

ODESSA, Wash. – Clark Kagele’s truck stops next to a tangle of shattered concrete and broken pipe. An old, defunct well.

For a few decades, 600 feet was deep enough. Not anymore.

On his 2,000 acres, Kagele grows wheat but also alfalfa for the herd, canola for cooking oil, timothy hay for discerning horse- and cattle-owners in Japan and South Korea, potatoes and, for the first time, sunflowers for […]

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Oregon joins lawsuit against Trump administration over water rule

NEW YORK — Eleven Democratic state attorneys general on Tuesday sued President Trump’s administration over its decision to delay implementation of an Obama-era rule that would have expanded the number of wetlands and small waterways protected by the Clean Water Act.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said last week’s decision by the Republican administration to postpone implementation of the 2015 Clean Water Rule for two years is an assault on public health.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator […]

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New Oregon instream water rights worry irrigators

Mateusz PerkowskiCapital Press

Published on November 20, 2017

Oregon’s fish and wildlife regulators plan to secure new instream water rights to preserve fish habitat, raising concerns about possible impacts on irrigators.

The new instream water rights are intended to protect flows, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is still studying which river basins to target.

“This is a statewide approach based on need,” said Anna Pakenham Stevenson, ODFW’s water quality and quantity program manager.

ODFW also plans […]

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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

INTEL BUILDING WATER RECYCLING FACILITY IN OREGON

OREGON, AUG. 23, 2017 – Intel is building a water recycling facility that could save nearly 1 billion gallons a year in Oregon, Oregon Live reports.

The company is already the city’s largest water user, as computer chip manufacturing requires large volumes of water throughout the process. The company’s water usage — already measured at more than 2 billion gallons in each of the past four years — is expected to increase with the opening of a new […]

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Oregon State’s dry farming project hosts field days in August

Oregon State University’s dry farming project, which began when drought still gripped much of the West, has expanded to the point that 30 farms are hosting field trials this year on the prospects of growing vegetables and orchard crops with little or no irrigation.

Twelve Western Oregon sites will host field days in August, with visits available every Tuesday — Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. The cost is $10 per person per date. Registration and other details are […]

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Oregon Carves a Path for Water Transfers in the West

SINCE 1971, CRIS Converse and her family have relied on water from Oregon’s Whychus Creek to raise cattle and grow hay. Their Pine Meadow Ranch thrives, in part, because the family’s water rights date back to 1850, assuring access to water virtually without limit.

By the 2000s, however, concern for Oregon’s salmon populations had become a powerful movement. And salmon that had spawned in Whychus Creek for millennia couldn’t get past the Converse family dam.

So Converse agreed to sell […]

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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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Hillsboro joins national competition for water conservation

April 1, 2017 Written by Geoff Pursinger Hillsboro community members can pledge online to be ‘water-wise’ by conserving water for the chance to win a Toyota Prius. The Hillsboro City Council is asking residents to conserve water this month, as part of a national contest.

Hillsboro leaders have their sights set on winning the Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation. The friendly competition asks leaders across the country to inspire their communities to conserve water, when possible.

“On behalf […]

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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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