Why do we stand up for water?

“Clean water is a basic necessity for marine life, plant and animal life, and human life. Curbing water pollution and efforts to conserve water are of vital importance to me.”
-Sally J., Siletz

“Clean, safe drinking water should be a human right.”
-Jonathan L., Portland

“The river is life. The river gives life to my small town by providing our drinking water, our recreation, and supports the wildlife we treasure in our community.”
-Reilly, Cottage Grove

“I love to float on a river and watch the trout swim beneath me.”
-Mary, Hillsboro

“Water is essential for human life, as a source of wellbeing as well as a requirement for staying alive. Resilience in water supplies requires limiting contamination and taking climate change into account in key decisions.”
-Adam H., Prineville

“Sustenance and reverence for natural life.”
-Michelle O., Chiloquin

On World Water Day – March 22, 2019 – people, organizations and businesses across the state spoke up about why water matters today and for future generations. Whether it’s the water we drink, the puddles our kids jump in, or the places we connect with the world around us, our existence is intertwined with the future of our water.

Your voices are what echoes off the walls of the Capitol in Salem and reverberates on social media. When we put them together, we can make a chorus for the future of our water resources that drives policy and practice in Oregon.

Where do we go from here?

No matter where you live in Oregon, we are facing water uncertainties due to increased flooding, drought and toxic algae; aging infrastructure that is past its expiration date or inadequate for our current community needs; and a lack of ongoing investment in clean water. Our job in the next decade is to figure out how to do more with less water and start working with nature to design a more resilient water future.

Oregon Environmental Council is actively working in the 2019 Legislative Session to ensure that our agencies have the resources needed to manage our water sustainably, that our state is planning for climate change and a resilient water future, and that healthy watersheds are seen as critical infrastructure investments to protect clean and affordable water today and for the next 100 years. We are also working on a bill to ensure renters know what’s in their well water.

We believe that any vision for Oregon’s water future should take into consideration overall watershed health, elevate sustainable solutions that help Oregon businesses thrive under changing climate conditions, reflect unique local and regional challenges, and prioritize the needs of Oregonians that are most vulnerable.

In the coming weeks, we will take your #MyWaterWhy to Salem to make sure policymakers hear why water matters to your lives, livelihoods and the world around us.

Image: Interactive map showcasing #MyWaterWhy submissions for Oregon World Water Day.

Add your voice

The Oregon World Water Day campaign continues through the end of March, with opportunities to win great prizes at oregonworldwaterday.org/win-big.

When you share your #MyWaterWhy with the world, you stand up for water and our future as a healthy and resilient state. Add your voice to the map today.

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What’s Your Water Why?

March 15, 2019, 2:29 am


#MyWaterWhy – Stacey Dalgaard

Wildflowers and wetlands. Tribal sovereignty. Young farmers, brewers and Oregon newcomers. My niece and nephew. Climate change. Because we can do more with so much less. And everyone deserves to drink water from their tap or eat fish from our rivers without fear. Everything we love depends on water. #MyWaterWhy By Stacey Dalgaard, Water Communications & Outreach Director, Oregon Environmental Council
March 5, 2019, 1:21 am


A 100-Year Vision for Water

“I hope that this river eventually can get back to near perfect – all the wildlife and habitat that may not be perfect now can be back so we can see what it’s like to have a really nice ecosystem in the watershed.” – Orren Carter, Lowell High School Junior
October 26, 2018, 12:14 am


3 Replies to "Why do we stand up for water?"

  • Darvel
    March 29, 2019 (12:28 am)

    I’m encouraged by the responses to your rhetorical question! Without water, all life on Earth would cease to exist! Thankfully, we in western Oregon have plenty of water for at least another year or two!

  • Craig Cline
    March 29, 2019 (1:37 am)

    There’s just no substitute for fresh water — and it’s a very small percentage of all the water on our fragile planet. So there’s no substitute for doing everything we can — everywhere we can — to protect and preserve our precious supplies. To do that is in our own best interests, because as we all know, water is the true staff of life. Lack of water — lack of life.

  • William Obrien
    April 1, 2019 (1:46 am)

    Water is life! Life cannot exist without water. But with climate change and over population fresh water might be hard to come by in this world.