Editorial: Silt problems start farther upriver

March 28, 2013
Editorial: Silt problems start farther upriver

I find it interesting that no one seems to address the real concern regarding silt and sediment problems in the Deschutes River.

What about the North Unit Irrigation District and all the related irrigators that seem to continually create stream flow variables that constantly churn up sediment and debris, causing harm to riparian habitats and fish-spawning beds?

Shouldn’t these irrigators be financially responsible and accountable for the river damage their releases and discharges create?

This is not just a problem for Mirror Pond, but their annual irrigation actions affect the whole Deschutes River system. I live upriver from Sunriver (20-plus miles from downtown Bend) and I can recall river water level changes of several feet in just a matter of a day or two, creating turbid murky water conditions downriver until the flow stabilizes — which I assume sends suspended debris particles all the way to Bend.

My section of the river is experiencing major sediment buildup also.

Again, address the source of the problems and have all stakeholders liable for solutions, including North Unit Irrigation District’s and Wickiup Reservoir’s impoundment in your financial solutions.

Duane Wyman

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