The Deschutes River Conservancy has been awarded a $50,000 grant through the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management Program to develop a comprehensive water management strategy, in partnership with the Deschutes Water Alliance, to improve in-stream flows, provide more reliable water supplies to farmers, and to help meet future municipal water demands.
“This is a great opportunity for basin water stakeholders to step back from their day-to-day activities and to consider how water can be managed even better than it is today for the mutual benefit of agriculture, municipalities and the environment,” said Tod Heisler, the Deschutes River Conservancy’s executive director. “We are enthusiastic about this planning initiative and the potential improvements it will likely identify.”
WaterSMART is a program of the U.S. Department of the Interior that focuses on improving water conservation and sustainability and helping water resource managers make sound decisions about water use. To this end, the Deschutes Water Planning Initiative, led by the Deschutes River Conservancy, seeks to balance competing needs for water through a collaborative planning effort.
“With this funding, the local community becomes a partner with Reclamation and together we work toward conserving valuable water,” said Scott Boelman, the Bureau’s Bend field office manager. “When Reclamation supports local watershed management groups we are ensuring the community is involved in local decisions that create healthy watersheds.”
The Deschutes River Conservancy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 1996 to restore stream flow and improve water quality in central Oregon’s Deschutes River basin.