KTVZ - Deschutes County commissioners set to declare drought emergency, seek state declaration

This article was published on: 03/11/22 2:23 PM

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Deschutes County commissioners will be asked next Wednesday to adopt a resolution declaring a state of emergency due to severe drought conditions and ask the governor to declare a drought emergency, much as Klamath County received this week and others will be requesting.

The resolution (viewable below) notes that the Deschutes Basin Board of Control, comprised of eight irrigation districts, says “continuing extreme weather conditions within the county are likely to cause widespread and severe damage to livestock, wildlife, natural resources, recreation, tourism and related economies.”

It goes on to say the Deschutes Basin snowpack is at 75% of average and that the latest drought monitor map shows most of the county now in extreme or exceptional drought.

The resolution says Wickiup Reservoir was at 97,404 acre feet on Thursday and is expected to peak around April 1 “at record low levels,” while “Crescent Lake is at 9% capacity.”

The resolution requests a drought emergency declaration by the state to make available temporary water rights transfers, emergency water use permits “and other federal and state drought assistance and programs as needed.”