What impacts will a changing climate have on our rivers, communities, and water supplies?

This article was published on: 04/24/19 11:28 AM

The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute Presents:

What impacts will a changing climate have on our rivers, communities, and water supplies?

Come learn about how water works in the Deschutes Basin and the strategies available to create resiliency in the face of a changing climate.

More than 100 years ago, federal and state policies encouraged the settlement of Central Oregon’s high desert by facilitating access to land and irrigation water. This water development helped support the diverse agriculture that has helped shape the region, however, it left many rivers and streams with low or altered flows. As the region has grown, the Upper Deschutes River basin has experienced increased demand for water for people, cities, farms, and fish and wildlife. Over the past two decades, irrigation districts, governmental entities, and conservation groups have worked together to address these issues. Diverse stakeholders in the Deschutes Basin recently completed the Upper Deschutes Basin Study, a water supply and demand study that identifies tools to meet the following goals into the future:

  • Increased streamflows and improved water quality for the benefit of fish, wildlife, and people
  • Reliable and affordable water supply to sustain agriculture
  • A safe, affordable, and high-quality water supply for urban communities

Our speakers will share their expertise and findings from the Basin Study that will help solve legacy water issues in the basin, and that can also be used to adapt to changing water supplies predicted for the future.

Jonathan La Marche, Hydrologist with the Oregon Water Resources Department, will discuss the unique hydrology of the Deschutes Basin and the changes we might expect under climate change.

Kate Fitzpatrick, Program Director of the Deschutes River Conservancy, will explain how water is currently managed in the Deschutes Basin and what kind of strategies partners are implementing to meet needs into the future for our rivers and communities.

To register, please email Suzanne Butterfield.