This just happened and it shows how fast they put these strategies into place, which will lead to possible new "regulations".
Here is a link to the document:
OR Integrated Water Resources Strategy
Panel adopts comprehensive Oregon water strategy
Updated: Friday, August 03, 2012 11:07 AM
By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- Oregon's first comprehensive plan for addressing the state's future water needs is launching with apparently little support from agriculture, despite widespread support from state natural resources agencies.
In a packed hearing room, the Oregon Water Resources Commission on Aug. 2 unanimously adopted the Oregon Integrated Water Resources Strategy, which was three years in the making.
"I think we have a terrific first Integrated Water Resources Strategy in front of us," said Katy Coba, director of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Coba said the Board of Agriculture previously endorsed the plan.
The strategy was initiated in 2009 legislation and developed under the direction of an 18-member citizen advisory group. The group worked with Oregon Water Resources Department staff and representatives from three other natural resource agencies and heard hundreds of hours of public testimony in hearings and open houses around the state.
The strategy passed despite criticism from the Oregon Cattlemen's Association that it doesn't address several association priorities. Among them are explicit calls for additional sources of water to expand agricultural production and plans to coordinate planning for water shortages and water use with other states.
"The Integrated Water Resources Strategy should make it a priority to gather more data and to assess in a credible and meaningful way the positions relied on by federal and state regulators to allocate water ... away from agriculture
and rural communities to instream uses," said Jim Welsh, a lobbyist for the cattle association.
"Implementation of the IWRS will ultimately result in significant amounts of money being used by already strapped agencies to finance new policies and regulations that could significantly harm Oregon's economy and rural
communities," Welsh said.
A rancher from Harney County also spoke against the strategy.
"There is an overriding tone of environmentalists' agenda in this paper," said Tim Smith.
And the Oregon Farm Bureau was notably absent.
"We support part of the document, other pieces we don't support," said Katie Fast, director of government affairs for the Farm Bureau.
Fast said the strategy recommends the state pursue projects to benefit instream and out-of-stream uses, but doesn't prioritize the uses.
"It asks for conflicting principles, and it doesn't say how you are going to handle and mitigate the conflicts," she said.
"It comes down to the point where it is a lot of concepts and lofty goals, but doesn't prioritize them and it doesn't break down an action plan on how to meet them," Fast said.
The strategy includes calls for increased data to help the state determine instream and out-of-stream needs and resources. And it includes recommended actions in 13 areas, including:
* Increasing water-use efficiency and water conservation.
* Improving access to built storage.
* Improving watershed health.
* Taking advantage of existing infrastructure to develop hydroelectric power.
* Encouraging regional approaches to water and wastewater systems.
* Funding development and implementation of the strategy.
Coba and other agency heads said they plan to seek funding from the Oregon Legislature in the 2013 session to begin implementing the strategy.
"I think the next step, will be more important, and possibly more challenging," Coba said.
"We are very pleased to see the commission move forward and adopt this, particularly with the endorsement of so many groups," Oregon Water Resources Department Director Phil Ward said. "That said, now we have to find a way in these tough economic times to make this strategy happen around the state."
----- Original Message -----
From: tim smith
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2012 10:45 AM
Subject: IWRS APPROVED BY WWRC
Yesterday the Oregon Water Resource Commission approved the Integrated Water Resource Strategy. A LOT of work went in to this document mostly by the Agencies WRD, DOA, ODFW and DEQ with about 16 other State and Fed agencies and a citizen policy committee
contributing. 11 town halls were held but the evidence of incorporation of thoses comments received was, in my opinion , sparce. Only 5 non-abency folks spoke 2 neutral, 2 positive and my opposition.
I had some serious criticism of the Doc from the tone perspective. I think it is being set with a
Environmentalist agenda, too much climate change, instream water influence, Eco-flow overtones and too little concern over state wide economic needs and historical water use. I spoke as an independent geologist/rancher and water user, but I was pretty much a lone voice in strong criticism. It was disappointing that after three years or so that more water users and ruralites weren't concerned enough to attend this hearing.
The implementation will now start and that is purely bureaucratic action and policy setting. Funding will be interesting for the WRD (DWR) now feels they have a statewide mandate to go in their chosen direction. The legislators will most likely give them the funding they want.
The feed back from half of the WRC to me was very positive and half was silence. (1 Commish was misssing but voted aye in proxy). The WRD director was Cleary angry but he and I have never had a very good relationship from when I was Chair of the State Groundwater Advisory Committee. The letter I read is a compilation of three sets of comments I had over the years on the three released drafts and could be more well written but my time and focus was the issues and not so much the literary quality.
The parts in no and green highlight I did not read but I gave the entire letter and table to all Commish members.
I have attached my comments and the IWRS approved Strategy if you have not seen it.
Stay tuned , this work will define the economy of rural Oregon for many years to come. I hope it is an
itterative process but fear it is headed down the same track that has lead Oregon down the green brick road for the last 30 years. Its about the economy if you want a sustained clean environment.
Tim K Smith
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