Sen. Hansell: Senate passes water bill (SB 1567)

Oregon Senate Votes to Provide Legal Authority for Oregon to Implement Sustainable Water Management Plan

By Oregon State Senator Bill Hansell:

SALEM, Ore. – Today, Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena) led the Oregon Senate in passing SB 1567, an important bill authorizing the Oregon Water Resource Department to implement a roadmap for sustainable water use and fisheries restoration through the Walla Walla Water 2050 Strategic Plan. The bill directs the State to work collaboratively with Washington and partner with federal agencies, tribes, and water users to manage water resources in the basin.

“Senate Bill 1567 is a collaborative effort of the communities, industries, and tribes who rely on the Walla Walla Basin and have had to grapple with declining surface and groundwater levels,” said Senator Hansell, a chief sponsor. “Based on my over 40 years of experience as a county commissioner and state senator representing Umatilla County, I understand how intertwined the Walla Walla River Basin is with Oregon, Washington, and the Confederated Tribe of Umatilla Indian Reservation. We must have bi-state coordination on water management efforts for our shared basin to reach its potential.”

SB 1567 closely mirrors a bill in the Washington Legislature, HB 1322, which passed unanimously and became law in 2023.