A new year with new impacts

March 27, 2017


Record-breaking snowfall. Raging rivers. The western water crisis is over, right? Wrong.

Come summer, our legacy of 19th-century irrigation infrastructure and outdated water rights laws guarantee there won’t be enough water to go around. Unfortunately, this pits farmers against fish advocates.

It doesn’t have to be this way. At The Freshwater Trust, we start from the watershed level and work our way down. We identify the best water rights to meet flow targets, and we work collaboratively with landowners to develop water deals that keep streams flowing and farmers whole. Think of it as the difference between responding to a crisis and planning for resilience.

No one understands this quest for resilience better than Oregon’s family farmers and ranchers, who make up more than 96% of the agricultural producers in the state. East of the Cascades, these families depend on streamflow for irrigation, the same streamflow sustaining our world-class salmon runs. With agricultural demand accounting for 80% of all surface water use in the state, a resilient future demands collaboration. It’s hard to envision water shortage during a season of plenty, but your support helps us save streamflow for the not-rainy day.

Read more in our Quarterly Impact Report.

Caylin Barter

Flow Restoration Director

#agriculture    #Eastern Oregon    #farmers    #flow    #impact    #western water crisis