Deschutes River Conservancy Announces Introduction of Reauthorization Legislation in Congress

May 28, 2024
Deschutes River Conservancy Announces Introduction of Reauthorization Legislation in Congress

Bend, Oregon – May 28, 2024– The Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) is pleased to announce a significant step in scaling water conservation and river restoration in the Deschutes Basin with the introduction of the Deschutes River Conservancy Reauthorization Act into the House of Representatives by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer. This important legislation is set to reinstate direct federal support for the DRC’s initiatives, complementing similar bills introduced by Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. Funding would support the DRC’s collaborative efforts to improve streamflow and water quality, benefiting rivers, local agriculture, as well as local cities and towns.

Rep.Chavez-DeRemer emphasized the impact of the DRC's work, stating, "For decades, the collective efforts of the DRC have helped promote sustainable water management practices, improving water quality and supporting recreational activities for generations of Oregonians. I’m honored to lead the Deschutes River Conservancy Act and will continue working to support their efforts at the federal level."

The DRC expresses profound gratitude for the bipartisan support from both the House and Senate, reflecting the regional importance of the Deschutes River and underscoring the community's dedication to collaborative resource stewardship.

“We are thrilled by Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer’s introduction of legislation to reauthorize the Deschutes RiverConservancy. This critical funding will help scale the water conservation solutions that provide resilience to agriculture, cities, and rivers in the Basin into the future. This legislation is not just a testament to the regional significance of the Deschutes River, but also to the dedication to collaboration by our community and partners,” said Kate Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Deschutes River Conservancy.

The DRC’s efforts, in collaboration with irrigation districts and other partners, have helped pipe over 100 miles of irrigation canals, restore 350 cubic feet per second of stream flow to basins, and increase water supply reliability to over 150,000 acres. Additionally, the DRC has engaged with over 45 local and regional groups to secure the best possible outcome for those utilizing the river for irrigation, recreation, and other purposes.

The Deschutes River Conservancy Act would reauthorize the DRC through 2034, enabling it to receive $2 million in federal funding annually through the Bureau of Reclamation.  Read the original House Bill

About the Deschutes River Conservancy: The Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) was formed in 1996 to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes River Basin. The DRC has a multi-stakeholder board and, through its collaborative efforts, has restored up to 350 CFS (equivalent to over 14 Olympic-sized swimming pools per hour) of flow in the basin with non-litigious, voluntary, and market-based programs. For more information about the DRC, visit


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An aerial view of a body of water.