Tag Archives | Columbia River Taskforce

Truce brokered in long running battle over Columbia River water

For nearly a decade, conservationists and irrigation interests have battled at the state capitol over Columbia River water and the long-standing laws safeguarding Columbia summer flows from new appropriations. These summer flows are critical to support the Columbia River’s salmon and steelhead runs protected by the federal Endangered Species Act…

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Truce brokered in long running battle over Columbia River water. Instream- Water Watch Oregon Newlsetter. Spring, 2013.

Milestone eastern Oregon water agreement signed

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and groups from Washington and Oregon working together under the banner of the Columbia River Umatilla Solutions task force put their signatures Friday to an agreement that outlines specific strategies for water use in eastern Oregon…

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Milestone eastern Oregon water agreement signed. Sustainable Business Oregon. February 15, 2013.

Governor Kitzhaber And Oregon Solutions Taskforce Sign Eastern Oregon Water Agreement

Governor Kitzhaber joined with members of the Columbia River Umatilla Solutions Taskforce to sign Friday a Declaration of Cooperation on Columbia River-Umatilla Basin water projects. The Declaration outlines specific strategies for storing water for expanded agricultural use, increased economic activity in Eastern Oregon, and improved in-stream conditions for fish…

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Governor Kitzhaber And Oregon Solutions Taskforce Sign Eastern Oregon Water Agreement. Albany Tribune. February 16, 2013.

Hope rises for irrigation deal

PORTLAND — The latest effort to develop new irrigation water for Umatilla Basin farmers could provide a breakthrough in what has been a long-standing stalemate between farmers, environmentalists and other fish interests.

At a symposium on Columbia River water at the Northwest Agricultural Show Jan. 29, Craig Reeder, a Umatilla Basin farmer, said a broad coalition is prepared to sign a declaration of cooperation that could increase irrigation supplies in the basin for the first time in two decades…

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Hope rises for irrigation deal. Capital Press. January 31, 2013.

Watering the Oregon Desert

HERMISTON, Ore. — With its sandy soils and arid climate, Eastern Oregon’s Umatilla Basin boasts some of the most productive farmland in the world. From potatoes to onions, corn to peas, watermelons to blueberries, the region is an oasis of high-value crop production.

Just add water, and crops flourish here.

Water, however, is hard to come by…

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Watering the Oregon Desert. OPB radio. January 25, 2013.

Project to Recharge Aquifers with Columbia River Water

PORTLAND, Ore. –- The lack of water for both farmers and fish is a problem that’s plagued the arid West for years.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber wants to try a possible solution in the Umatilla Basin, where water would be withdrawn from the Columbia River during the winter and store it underground so it’s there to meet irrigation need months later…

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Project to Recharge Aquifers with Columbia River Water. OPB radio. December 3, 2012.

Hunt for water in eastern Oregon has farmers scrambling to tap Columbia River

BUTTER CREEK — The crick, as it’s called, tumbles out of the Blue Mountains, carrying snowmelt and spring rain to the Umatilla River. Water is scarce here, eight to 12 inches of precipitation annually on the flats, but Butter Creek grows enough in its 57 mile run to become a rushing stream for a couple months a year. By high summer it is bone dry, a channeled low spot amid the sage.

Early farmers claimed water rights and built seasonal dams to flood and saturate the rich bottom ground for the dry months. Later farmers built canals, tapped the Umatilla River, sank wells and pumped irrigation water, a practice that spread through the Umatilla Basin…

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Hunt for water in eastern Oregon has farmers scrambling to tap Columbia River. The Oregonian. October 14, 2012.

Balance between farms and fish sought in Oregon water accord

ov. John Kitzhaber has asked stakeholders in the Umatilla Basin to hammer out a plan to combat water shortages in the region, with preliminary findings due by December. The group is working through the Oregon Solutions process at Portland State University…

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Balance between farms and fish sought in Oregon water accord. Sustainable Business Oregon. August 9, 2012.

WOELK: Water task force an ambitious undertaking

At first blush, it would appear the Columbia River-Umatilla Solutions Task Force’s odds of succeeding are slim and none —?and slim is headed for the door.

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WOELK: Water task force an ambitious undertaking. Hermiston Herald. June 20, 2012.

CRUSTF water project can benefit all

The Columbia Basin is likely to become a greener place — agriculturally, economically and environmentally — if the new Columbia River-Umatilla Solutions Task Force’s vision becomes reality.

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CRUSTF water project can benefit all. East Oregonian. June 20, 2012.