A hydropower facility proposed by an irrigation district in Central Oregon isn’t subject to additional stream improvement requirements, according to a state land use ruling.
The Metolius River is perhaps best known for its superb dry-fly fishing in the summertime. But many anglers find it difficult to stay away during the offseason, and the hardiest of them make their way to the Metolius throughout the wintertime.
For the first time since it was filled more than 50 years ago, Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir in the country, is projected to dip past a critical threshold, threatening water supplies and putting a key source of hydropower generation at heightened risk of being forced offline, as climate change-fueled drought continues to grip the Western US.
Low snowpack in the mountains and low water levels in the reservoirs are prompting local farmers to request a drought declaration, the earliest on record.
Despite this week’s heavy rainfall, most of Oregon is still in an ongoing drought with Central Oregon facing the most severe conditions in the state.
The Upper Klamath Basin’s groundwater crisis has continued to worsen, even in winter. Even after rains returned in October and snow soon followed, the Oregon Water Resources Department has received 34 additional reports of dry or failing domestic wells in Klamath County. That’s on top of more than 200 reported during the summer of 2021.
A strong atmospheric river is forecast to bring heavy rain, river flooding, and snow to the Pacific Northwest early this week. Atmospheric rivers can be both good and bad. On the good side, they are the main contributor to the West Coast water supply, however, they are also the source for the region’s most impactful flooding events.
The public soon will have a say in what kind of fish passage should be built at the Mirror Pond dam. Earlier this month, the Mirror Pond Fish Passage Advisory Committee decided to explore three different kinds of fish passage options at the dam that sits in the middle of the city at Mirror Pond.
The blast of cold, arctic weather to hit Central Oregon this week has been a welcome sight for skiers, sledders, and others concerned about the lack of winter this year. For reservoir watchers, the weather is still short of what’s needed. Snowpack in the Upper Deschutes and Crooked River Basin fell to 85% of normal as of Thursday, according to data compiled by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Year-to-date precipitation was 86% of normal.