Press release (March 21, 2022): Oregon Water Resources Commission Completed State Recognition of Final Upper Grande Ronde River Watershed Partnership Place-Based Integrated Water Resources Plan
Union County Commissioner Donna Beverage presented the Final Upper Grande Ronde River Watershed Partnership Place-Based Integrated Water Resources Plan to the Oregon Water Resources Commission on March 17, 2022. She was joined by Anton Chiono from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, and Jed Hassinger of the Union County Farm Bureau. The Oregon Water Resources Commission voted unanimously to approve recognition of the Plan. The Partnership voted unanimously to approve the Plan at the January 5, 2022 Stakeholder meeting. The Agency Review Team (composed of Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, and Oregon Water Resources Department) unanimously recommended that the State of Oregon officially recognize the Plan. The Plan, which seeks to improve water quality and quantity in the Watershed, can be viewed here.
Now that the State recognition process is complete, the Partnership is excited to begin implementing the Plan – here are a few of the projects to improve water quality and quantity in our watershed that we are starting in the next few months:
- Begin a feasibility study to assess aboveground storage opportunities in the Watershed and study instream flow requirements (funded through a $114,000 Oregon Water Resources Department feasibility study grant, $75,000 Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board in-stream flow study grant, and match time valued at $64,000 from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife)
- Developing a Strategic Action Plan (funded through a $100,000 grant from Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to build Partnership capacity)
- Reinitiate strategy group meetings (funded through $50,000 Oregon Water Resources Department Place-based planning grant extension)
- Review Catherine Creek underground storage study data for instream flow restoration – and determine next steps
- Work with Union County and Cities to assist with a Natural Hazards Update Plan
- Data Gap work – begin filling Plan identified data gaps, starting with improving instream flow calculations
The Partnership has been meeting for over 5 years and is always excited for new participants, if any of these topics are of interest to you, we welcome your attendance at our quarterly implementation meetings, or strategy group meetings. For more information please visit the Place Based Planning page or contact Commissioner Beverage or Dana Kurtz.