Our Rivers in the Deschutes Basin Need Your Help
What’s wrong with our rivers?
Water in the rivers was once seen as an unlimited resource to be used for human benefit. Dams were built, canals were dug, and from these the Central Oregon we call home today has developed and grown. From the rivers, we brought life to this community, but it came at the cost of ecological imbalances to the Deschutes Basin.
Fortunately, our values and understanding towards our rivers have changed over time in positive ways; however, so has the burden from more and more people relying on these rivers for irrigation, recreation, businesses, and household use. Surface water in the Upper Deschutes Basin has been over allocated since the early 1900s, causing many stream reaches to suffer from high and low flows at different times of the year. The varying flows have resulted in poor water quality, degraded habitat for fish and wildlife, fish mortality, and streambank erosion.
This imbalance on streamflows impacts the future of not only our local farmers, wildlife and recreation but also the viability of our communities and businesses that all depend on the rivers and their water.
Today, we see the value of this finite resource in balance with our needs and the rivers’ health. We need to work together to restore the health of the Deschutes Basin and find ways to resolve the growing demands on this precious resource.
We need the river
The river needs us
Our rivers are connected to everything and everyone in this community. Raise the Deschutes is a partnership to raise awareness of the work that needs to be done, and done quickly, to restore our rivers to a healthy condition. The diverse needs of our rivers, agricultural lands and communities are all important. We can cooperate to find mutually beneficial solutions while minimizing conflict and retaining our sense of community.
While most of the opportunities to restore water instream are tied to improving agricultural efficiency, there are still things you can do to Raise the Deschutes. Pick one of the ways you can help below.
WAYS YOU CAN HELP RAISE THE DESCHUTES BASIN’S RIVERS AND STREAMS
- WaterWise offers simple changes for homeowners to save water for our rivers
- Support irrigation modernization efforts to update aging, outdated and inefficient agricultural water delivery systems
- Businesses can become part of the Shared Vision for the Deschutes River
- Volunteer with conservation organizations
- Avion Water Company’s Blue Water Program allows 14,000 customers to give back to the Deschutes River through their monthly water bills