Groundwater Mitigation in Central Oregon
If you're building a single family home in Deschutes, Jefferson, or Crook County, you can usually drill a well without going through Oregon's Deschutes Groundwater Mitigation Program (PDF). Most other new groundwater users need mitigation credits before they can use their water. These credits mitigate for the effects of new water use on streamflow in the lower Deschutes River.
The DRC's Groundwater Mitigation Bank creates temporary credits through instream leases. Clients purchase these credits annually to mitigate for their water use. They can also purchase permanent credits through private brokers or the Deschutes Water Alliance Water Bank. Here is a comparison of temporary and permanent credits (PDF). This document is intended to help new water users understand their options.
We project that increased groundwater use will consume one half of one percent of the total water available in the Deschutes Basin in twenty-five years. We expect mitigation to restore up to twice that much water to the Deschutes River and tributaries.
If you are interested in purchasing temporary mitigation credits, please contact Gen Hubert by email or at (541) 382-4077, ext. 16.