In the Media

Deschutes Basin water users scramble to make ends meet in century-old system

Bend Bulletin

Central Oregon has been challenged for years by a severe drought stemming from low precipitation in the Cascades. Some variation in annual precipitation is natural over multi-decade cycles, but a warming planet has deepened those cycles. Oregon’s snowpack, which drives the volume of water in the Deschutes Basin, has been declining for decades and is likely to continue doing so, state climate scientists predict.

Fixes to aging infrastructure have major impact on drought, groundwater supply

Bend Bulletin

The Deschutes Basin’s eight irrigation districts, which deliver water from the basin’s rivers to its farmers through those canals, have a key role to play in water conservation. Replacing those antiquated canals with pipes could save those loses and return over 100,000 acre-feet of water to the river, a 2019 study found.

Arnold Irrigation District conservation projects close to approval, district manager says

Bend Bulletin

On Bend’s southern outskirts, canals and ditches are already dry due to extreme drought conditions this summer, forcing farmers to reduce their herd size or give up their farms altogether. But a conservation strategy by Arnold Irrigation District, which has supplied water to the area for 117 years, could extend the life of the irrigation season as soon as next year.

Do we have enough water in Oregon? Depends who you ask

Bend Bulletin

Ask a few Oregonians if their state has enough water to meet its needs and you may get some varying answers. The differing views on the question may be tilted based on where people live, or even their gender.

GOODBYE 1937 FLOW DATA: WITH CLIMATE CHANGE BPA NOW USING MOST RECENT CONDITIONS TO INFORM FUTURE PNW HYDROLOGY, POWER GENERATION ESTIMATES

Columbia Basin Bulletin

For more than eight decades, BPA relied on a data set of hydrological conditions in the Pacific Northwest that stretched back to 1929 and used the 1937 water year as the baseline for determining firm power generation. However, the conditions seen in 1937, or indeed much of the first half of that 90-year record, are becoming less likely to happen again as regional climate continues to warm.