The Flow Problem
Every summer, many streams across Oregon go dry or nearly dry. Often, more water is authorized for out of stream uses than naturally flows in the stream. As water becomes scarce, the stream’s temperature increases and oxygen and water quality decrease. More importantly, less water means less habitat.
Because agriculture accounts for 82% of Oregon’s surface water withdrawals, farmers and ranchers have often seen conservationists as a threat to their livelihoods. And indeed, past conservation acts have been regulatory – laws have been implemented that restrict the use of their own land and water. However, at The Freshwater Trust, we think that both working lands and healthy rivers can coexist.