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Willamette Basin Review - Reservoir Study

Background

The thirteen federal reservoirs in the middle and upper Willamette Basin were authorized for
construction beginning in the late 1930s. The combined conservation storage capacity is over 1.6 million acre-feet. The projects provide important benefits of flood control, generation of electricity and water storage. Recreational use at many of the reservoirs is significant and releases provide instream benefits for fish, wildlife, navigation and water quality. Only a small percentage of the total storage is currently under contract for irrigation.
 
Population growth, increasing development, agriculture, and listings under the Endangered Species Act will place new demands on the reservoirs and could affect project operations. The Willamette Basin Review (Reservoir Study) will determine to what extent the reservoirs may help to meet future water demands in the valley and if changes in project authorizations are necessary to meet those needs.
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Purpose

The Reservoir Study is a cooperative cost-shared study with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Funding for the Study has been provided by the federal government, the State of Oregon and more than 60 cities, special districts, organizations and commercial and industrial firms. The Study will determine if operational changes or modifications in the allocation of stored water would better serve present and future resource needs in the basin.

The major challenge of the Reservoir Study will be to identify ways to balance competing demands and help meet future water needs in the valley while retaining those aspects of current operations that people value today and in the future. Work on the Study has been delayed to allow consultation with federal fish management agencies regarding the impacts of reservoir operations on fish, wildlife and plant species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The 2000 interim report (see below) provides a discussion of the work that has been completed under the Study and options for future work.
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Willamette Stakeholder Meetings

Stakeholder meetings are open to the public and typically held at the Oregon Water Resources Department (725 Summer St. NE).  Please note that the September 11, 2014 meeting will be held at the Oregon Association of Nurseries' office in Wilsonville.

 

​Monday, July 22, 2013 ​Agenda Presentation Handouts Meeting Notes
​Thursday, September 11, 2014 ​Agenda ​Draft PMP
  ​

 

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WaterSMART Plan of Study

The Oregon Water Resources Department is working with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to complete a Plan of Study.  The focus of this effort is to fill possible data gaps related to water demands in the basin (instream and out-of-stream), with the primary goal of supporting the Willamette Basin Reservoir Study efforts.

​September 30, 2013 Workshop ​Agenda ​Presentations ​Meeting Materials
 

 

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Staff Reports & Other Items

Commission Staff Reports:
 
 
 
Other Resources:
In 2008, municipal water providers in the southern portion of the Willamette Basin
conducted a study, exploring the issues associated with obtaining stored water to meet
municipal and industrial water supply and flow augmentation needs.
 
Historical Documents:
· Willamette Brochure (Apr. 1998)
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Surplus Water Supply Report

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a Draft Surplus Water Letter Report for the City of Creswell in December 2013, and accepted public comments through January 14, 2014. A copy of the Public Notice and Draft Report are listed below. On July 21, 2014, Brigadier General John S. Kem, Commander of the Corps’ Northwestern Division approved the Report.  See below for the draft and final document report.
  
December 18, 2013 Public Notice                   
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Adopted in August 2012 by the Water Resources Commission, the Strategy provides a set of actions to help the state better understand and meet its instream and out-of-stream needs, taking into account water quantity, water quality, and ecosystem needs. Recommended Action 10.B is directly aimed at improving access to storage, including stored water in the Willamette Basin reservoirs.

Willamette 2008 Biological Opinion
On July 11, 2008, the federal government issued a final Biological Opinion for ESA-listed fish in the Willamette Basin.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Willamette Valley Project
This site provides background information on the 13 dams and reservoirs owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
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Contact Information

​Alyssa Mucken ​Eric Stricklin
​Oregon Water Resources Department ​U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
​503-986-0911 ​503-808-4757
​To stay informed about the Willamette Basin Reservoir Study, including upcoming meetings and public comment opportunities, consider joining the Willamette mailing list. 

To sign up, click here 
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