Oregon 2017 Integrated Water Resources Strategy

The 2017 edition of Oregon’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy builds on the state’s 2012 strategy and is aimed at predicting and meeting the state’s instream and out-of-stream water needs, both now and in the future. The updated version addresses climate change as a “cross-cutting issue” and illustrates the need for continuous monitoring of water resources as predictions based off of historical data becomes unpredictable because of climate change. The state’s past efforts are highlighted, including a 2015 Executive Order which called for the 2017 strategy to address drought resiliency, which it does in Chapter 5 (section 5.5A).

Chapter 3, “Understanding the Coming Pressures that Affect our Needs & Supplies” addresses climate change and its impacts on coastal systems, aquatic species, air temperature, and winter snowpack. The chapter also offers next steps and recommended actions. Some examples of these include water efficiency projects and the use of green infrastructure to restore wetlands and degraded streams. The section concludes by calling for future analysis of the state’s capacity to meet both instream and out-of-stream water needs.

The strategy ends with a review of guiding principles which the state committed to during the development of the first strategy. These include sustainability to “ensure that actions sustain water resources by balancing the needs of Oregon’s environment, economy, and communities.” It is a balance that will become more complicated as climate change alters precipitation patterns and ecosystems, and requires continued strategic planning work.

 

Publication Date: December 2017

Related Organizations:

  • Oregon Water Resources Commission

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  • Plans (other)

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