Oregon agriculture has come to define the lifestyle and economy of the Deschutes River Basin. It reflects a spirit that's unique to the region: independent, hardworking, community minded, and with a deep respect for the land. In recent years, the landscape of central Oregon has been steadily changing. With city growth and commercial expansion, resorts and residential developments, and the fragmentation of once-large farms, water use is changing too.
The DRC is working closely with farmers and ranchers to understand their current water needs and concerns. By collaborating with all of the local irrigation districts, cities and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, we are moving forward with innovative, market based solutions to address these concerns.
Thanks to this creative collaboration, voluntary solutions such as water leasing and canal piping are already in place in some areas, where they are reaping the benefits for both the river and the agricultural community. Together we can secure a reliable long-term water supply for the people making a living from the land and its natural resources.