WaterWatch continues to advocate for Oregon Rivers through a variety of means, including advocacy, education, monitoring (esp. related to water rights), and, river restoration and efficiency projects.
With the Oregon Legislature in session WaterWatch is devoting considerable energy advocating for sensible, balanced water policies and fighting to defeat the most damaging bills. WaterWatch staff also participate in several legislative workgroups, including:
Oregon Solutions Project for Columbia River - this group has developed consensus options that should lead to additional water for Umatilla farmers that rely soleley on winter water; WaterWatch successfully staved off proposals to open up the Columbia for for withdrawls during low water seasons and secured the group's commitment that no legislation that undermines Columbia River Fisheries Laws will be introduced.
State Bonding Task Force - this group was convened by the Governor to create a new fund for water development and management projects using lottery backed funds and general obligation bonds for loans. WaterWatch is negotiating to secure requirements that projects developed through this fund would protect streamflows and rivers.
Oregon Conservation Network (OCN) - WaterWatch is a participating member and worked to get two bills adopted as priorities for the group - SB 659, a water right administration fee bill; and SB 401, a bill to designate additional scenic waterways across Oregon. The extensive expansion of proposed State Scenic Waterway designation emerged as a response to the proliferation of suction dredge mining on rivers, primarily in SW Oregon.
In Conduit Hydropower - WaterWatch is attending meetings of this workgroup advocating to keep fish passage requirements on in conduit hydropower (i.e., not on a dam).
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