We’ve all seen the stories about the drought in the Southwest and the dire water situation in California, with farmers unable to irrigate their fields, residential and municipal wells running dry, significant impacts to jobs, increased poverty, and even food banks having less food to give away. Closer to home, the Klamath Basin has struggled with water promises made to tribes, farmers, wildlife, and residents that could not be kept. Conflict there among water users has teetered on the edge of violence, while collaborative agreements don’t seem to be able to be funded by Congress. What about here in Central Oregon? What is our water situation? Is a drought next for Central Oregon? Are there conflicts among the water users, and can it get as bad here as in the Klamath Basin? May’s City Club Forum will address these questions, and yours, as well! These panelists will discuss the water situation in Central Oregon and what is being done to make sure there is enough water for everyone:
- Tod Heisler: Executive Director, Deschutes River Conservancy, will provide an overview of the water situation in Central Oregon.
- Mark Capell: Bend City Councilor, will represent the municipalities who need water for their growing populations.
- Phil Fine: Madras-area farmer and North Unit Irrigation District Board member, will represent farmers and irrigation districts who need water for their crops.
- Ryan Houston: Executive Director, Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, will represent the rivers of Central Oregon and how water supports their long-term sustainability.
moderator: Mary Orton, City Club member