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… Download full newsletter and read … Read more

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…

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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.