Learn a little about the Upper Deschutes through this recent presentation. The words in the title slide, “The Water is Sacred,” are borrowed from a recent interview with a Warm Springs Tribal elder.
This presentation was given by Margi Hoffman with Farmers Conservation Alliance. It provides an overview of the federal Watershed Protection and Flood Plain Prevention program that Central Oregon irrigation districts are proposing to apply to for partial funding for irrigation modernization projects.
As stakeholders in the future, we all have a vested interest in how rivers and groundwater are managed. Aging water infrastructure, a warming climate, and more people moving to Oregon from warmer, drier regions are already happening, and more is in our future.
Families, farmers, and fish will all be affected…
In 2012, Oregon adopted its first Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS) to address water management issues today and in the future.
If IWRS sounds wonky, then think of it in terms of dealing with climate change and drought, ensuring that we have healthy ecosystems, making sure we have adequate water for cities and agriculture, and more.
Here is the powerpoint about the IWRS that was presented by Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) at our recent program.
It was auspicious and particularly foul weather even by Bend standards. We had all taken to calling it a BLOWtilla, and wondered if anyone would dare to show up. The winds howled as community members began to show up at Tumalo Creek for the first annual Deschutes River FLOWtilla. One by one they arrived, with kayaks and paddleboards in tow, geared up in spite of the weather ready to paddle with beaming smiles on their wet faces.
It was 2013 when Kim Brannock of Bend first witnessed thousands of dying fish in a side channel of the upper Deschutes River near Lava Island. As co-founder of the Coalition for the Deschutes, she was sickened by the sight, only to find out it had been occurring for decades with seasonal irrigation water flows that run extremely heavy in the summer and light in the winter.
When growers need water, the flow from Wickiup Dam is at its highest level, often causing washed-out channels that damage sensitive riparian environments essential to the health of the river and its fish.
Scott Nelson completed his first film about the Deschutes River in 2012, a pretty little nine-minute version, set to music, that showcased the waterway’s beauty.
Nelson’s next version of the film in 2014 started exploring the river’s problems. His latest version — showing Monday at the Tower Theatre — zooms in a little closer on the challenges the river faces and the efforts by stakeholders to address them.
Zolo Media and Central Oregon Daily published this short video (Click link to left to watch) about the water issues on the upper Deschutes river and how the flow levels are effecting fish health and populations.
Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to see a problem that’s right in front of us. That’s what happened four years ago when a recent arrival to Bend stumbled onto a devastating scene of thousands of dead fish near the Deschutes River.