Water News


Governor Kotek Nominates Ivan Gall to Lead OWRD

OEC joins our partners in applauding Governor Tina Kotek’s nomination of Ivan Gall for the role of Director at the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD). The exhaustive, nationwide search for this position took nearly a year. We appreciate that Gov. Kotek chose a candidate so deeply familiar with the intricacies of Oregon water. Gall has been working at OWRD for a quarter-century. In his time there, he headed the department’s field services division, as well as its groundwater section. Gall brings technical expertise, on-the-ground knowledge, and extensive ...

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Make Your Voice Heard for the Future of Oregon Groundwater!

wetland in the malheur national wildlife refuge with dry grass and clouds in the blue sky
When you think about water in Oregon, you might think about the Rogue River, Pacific Coast or Malheur Lake. However, some of the most important bodies of water in our state aren't visible to the naked eye: they're under our feet. Almost 90% of our state’s public water systems rely at least in part on groundwater ecosystems. Snow and rain collect into aquifers made of underground layers of sand, fractured rocks and other permeable materials, forming the groundwater so crucial to Oregon communities. Right now, big changes are on the horizon for Oregon groundwater. You ...

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2024 Legislative Session

OEC’s legislative advocacy in the 2024 short session will take key bills over the finish line, secure essential funding for environmental programs, and deliver on our promise to stay vigilant for the health of Oregon’s environment and communities. Our advocacy helps ensure healthy air, thriving communities, clean and plentiful water, and climate resiliency. Our policies harness innovation and create new economic opportunities. They are grounded in preventing harm and advancing fairness. YOU CAN GET INVOLVED: Sign up for our Grassroots Action Information Network ...

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New Water Justice Report: A Launching Point for Research and Policy Development 

It should go without saying that clean water is foundational to every aspect of our lives. But the reality is that there are far too many people in Oregon who struggle to have their water needs met every day. For some it’s poor water quality, for others, it’s lack of access to water, unaffordable water costs, or diminished natural resources.  These water justice challenges are highlighted in a new report that builds on our work in the Oregon Water Futures Collaborative and expands the base of evidence demonstrating how frontline communities are impacted by Oregon’s ...

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EVs Are Not Just for Urban Commuters

The transition from gas to electric vehicles is now well underway. From electric cars, trucks, and busses, to e-bikes, e-scooters, and personal wheeled devices of all kinds, there are more and more electric options for getting around town. This transition is exciting to see because it’s essential to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and battling climate change.  But what if “town” isn’t where you’re trying to get around? There are more electric vehicle (EV) models introduced all the time, but many people still have questions about whether an EV makes ...

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2022 Oregon legislative victories!

2022 Legislative Session Banner
With a flurry of action in just five short weeks, the 2022 Legislative Session concluded on March 4th. This year’s session started with extreme uncertainty as a result of major changes in leadership and a new COVID variant. It also began with good news: an unexpectedly large state budget surplus. In the end, Oregon Environmental Council is thrilled that most of our major priorities made it across the finish line and that we helped win crucial investments in environmental and community benefits. We did this work, like always, in collaboration with a wide array of ...

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2022 Oregon Legislature: Mid-Session Update

The 2022 Legislative Session is well underway. OEC staff have jumped in with both feet, analyzing bills and recommending improvements, writing and delivering strong testimony, organizing partnered groups, and defending against harmful proposals. So far we have testified on over 20 unique bills and inspired nearly 300 citizen contacts to legislators and committees from OEC activists like you. We have focused our efforts on four key areas.  Efficient and resilient buildings and communities, Clean and equitable transportation,  Jobs, Justice, and Health  ...

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Road-trips, Representatives and Adventures in Eastern Oregon

Summer is road-trip time, and recently, OEC staff Karen Lewotsky (Water Policy and Rural Partnerships Director) and Morgan Gratz-Weiser (Legislative Director) headed southeast across Oregon to Crane, with stops along the way in Tumalo and Prineville. Why Crane? The gathering in Crane was organized by leading legislators and partner organizations Verde, Willamette Partnership and others, to celebrate recent state investment in water and water infrastructure. The celebration kicked off with a virtual Zoom event the preceding week, and culminated with a tour of Harney ...

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New report elevates water justice in Oregon

Oregon Water Futures Project takes learnings to legislators and wins new funding for equitable water access

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A Natural Vision for Water Part 4: Investing in Our Future

Prineville wetlands project - built ponds of water spread out on the landscape next to the natural path of a river.
The fourth part of our Natural Vision for Water series outlines HOW to invest in natural infrastructure as the foundation for thriving Oregon communities.

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