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Oregon’s Integrated Water Resource Strategy: Close of Comment Period Nearing on Draft Recommended Actions

August 24, 2011

The latest output of the effort to develop Oregon’s Integrated Water Resource Strategy (IWRS) is a set of draft recommended actions that will guide development of the final IWRS. For background on the IWRS, see the earlier post on our site.  

The Draft Recommended Actions are the culmination of various efforts over the last several years, which are summarized in a February 1, 2011 Progress Report.  In 2009, several issue papers were developed describing the current status of Oregon’s water quantity, water quality, and ecosystems.  In 2010, public input was received through public meetings throughout the state, and through public comment on the issue papers.  This year, the focus has been on development of the recommended actions which address the critical issues that have been identified over the previous two years, and on identifying potential obstacles to their implementation. The IWRS Project Team, composed of members of the four key Departments (OWRD, ODEQ, ODFW, and ODA), released the Draft Recommended Actions this June.  These actions will be used to develop the IWRS, which must be submitted to the Legislature by December 31, 2012, with five-year updates thereafter.

In the Draft Recommended Actions, the Project Team flagged several actions as key, high priority, concepts and others as actions for which rule-making will likely be required.  Among the actions flagged as high priority were actions addressing information and funding needs to protect water supplies and water quality, and steps towards development of water-related infrastructure.  The actions that will likely require rule-making include, among others, fully integrating water information into land-use planning, facilitating regional water resource planning, assisting the development of ecosystem credits and markets, and pursuing additional instream protections. 

While the recommended actions provide further insight into what the IWRS will ultimately entail, many questions remain as to how these actions will be accomplished and on what time-frame. 

Comments on the draft recommended actions must be submitted by August 31, 2011 to the IWRS Project Team at waterstrategy@wrd.state.or.us or by mail to:  Attn: Water Strategy, c/o the Oregon Water Resources Department; 725 Summer Street N.E., Suite A, Salem, Oregon 97301.

If you have any questions about this post, please contact me at KMoore@dunncarney.com.

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