Upper Deschutes Basin Study released

April 17, 2021
Upper Deschutes Basin Study released

A study that will help irrigators, politicians, biologists and others who study and utilize water in the Upper Deschutes Basin has been released and is expected to help guide how water is used and conserved in Central Oregon.

The Upper Deschutes River Basin Study, jointly funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and the Oregon Water Resources Department, is built on two decades of investigations, planning, and the implementation of projects to address water shortages.

The $1.5 million study provides analytical tools that will help basin stakeholders develop plans to meet seasonal water needs of rivers, farms, and cities.

The study lays out various pathways to improve water management, including market incentives to change how people use water, canal piping to eliminate seepage losses, and improving watering methods on farms.

Tod Heisler, director of the Rivers Conservation Program at Central Oregon LandWatch, said the Deschutes Basin Study will help authorities identify water supply problems and create a range of innovative solutions.

“It examines restoring significant flows to our rivers and creeks and the effects of doing so on agricultural water supply,” said Heisler. “It also identifies the future water demand of Central Oregon’s growing cities and how that water supply might be secured.”

The 79-page study can be found in PDF form (www.usbr.gov/pn/studies/deschutes/finalstudy.pdf)

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