Senate Democrats Question GOP Plan to Sell Oregon Water

[Senate Majority Release]
Senate Democrats Question Republican Plan to Sell Oregon’s Water
Democrats assert that the state water policy should focus on the needs of Oregonians first

SALEM — Members of the Senate Democratic caucus Tuesday raised concern over a Republican plan to sell Oregon’s water to other states. The plan was released as part of the Senate Republican caucus’s agenda for the 2009 session.

“While the complexities of this proposal have yet to be vetted, it seems doubtful that this is the sort of idea that Oregonians could get behind,” said Senate Majority Leader Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin). “Democrats in the legislature would prefer to store our water here at home before shipping it off to California.”

The Republican plan, which calls water “Oregon Oil,” suggests that 70 million acre feet of water a year is “wasted” when the flow of the Columbia reaches the Pacific Ocean. They suggest that this water is in excess of that needed for farms, fisheries, and hydroelectric power.

“First and foremost, while not closing our minds to long-term viable solutions for state funding, we are committed to ensuring that Oregonians and our agricultural community have the stable and sufficient water supply they need” said Senator Alan Bates (D-Ashland), chair of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. “We are in the middle of a state-wide water needs assessment and we will respond to those needs before we divert our water anywhere outside of Oregon. Senate Democrats have demonstrated leadership on this issue, and I’m confident that we will continue our record of smart and sensible water planning for our state.”

Democrats have a strong record of looking out for Oregon’s water needs. During the 2008 February Session, Senate Democrats in the legislature passed the Agricultural and Community Water Act, or ACWA, which expands options for developing a sufficient and sustainable water supply for Oregonians. Additionally, in 2007 Democrats passed the first broad state water study in recent history.

“Continuing our commitment to Oregon’s water needs for now and the future is a duty that we don’t take lightly,” said Devlin. “We’re not interested in the commoditization of a precious resource when our own water security is still an issue and priority to many Oregonians.”


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Posted by at 01:43 | Posted in Measure 37 | 4 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Crawdude

    Heck, I have no problem selling it, they can have some from the mouth of the Willamete if they’d like also.

    Where exactly would the Dems like to store the water? and for what reason? Its water that has already run it course and is headed for the ocean. Do they want to build reseviors and dams? I don’t understand their reluctance.

    If we set up the infrastructure to harvest the water at the mouth of the Columbia, we can sell it until we need it. When we do need it we will have it easily accessible.

    By the way, I fish off Ilwaco for a week every summer, I know how far out the fresh water from the river flows into the ocean so party line propoganda isn’t needed. If you can answer why taking the water from the mouth is bad I’d like to know.

    If we were smart we’d tie the deal into the buyers repairing the south jetty for us too.

    • sybella

      I understand their reluctance. ANYTHING the repubs suggest must be questioned and knocked down. Otherwise they couldn’t get credit for it.

  • Jerry

    We are literally awash in excess fresh water. I say start trucking it down to Arizona. We can implement that right away while we build the pipeline.
    Water is the liquid gold of the 21st century.
    We’ve got it and they don’t.
    Oregon could easily become the next Saudi Arabia, and unless that global warming is for real, we will keep getting new water to sell every spring when the snow melts.
    It sometimes takes bold thinking to accomplish things. The Great Lakes states have banded together to prevent a water rush, so Oregon could easily be the only game in town.
    For once, could we do something bold and dramatic?? Just once??

  • Dave A.

    This is just one more example of the small minds in the Oregon Legislature. Not being able to think ahead for even a few years. Pathetic and just one of numerous reasons why we’re retiring in 17 months and out of this beautiful state for good.

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