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Conservation Corner
The Conservation Corner
Should You Prepare for a Water Shortage?
On February 13, 2014, Oregon Governor John A. Kitzhaber, M.D. issued an Executive Order (No. 14-01) declaring a drought in Harney, Klamath, Lake and Malheur Counties. 
Other counties within Oregon may not be far behind.  On March 10, 2014, snowpack levels for southern and western portions of the state ranged from 27 to 47 percent of normal, due to a drier than normal winter.  Precipitation since October 1, 2013 throughout the state was also below normal.  If the spring yields warm and dry conditions that negatively affect peak snowpack levels and the timing of snowpack melt, water users across Oregon can expect streamflows that are well below normal during the upcoming summer. 
To learn more: The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) provides frequent updates on the water status in Oregon:  http://www.oregon.gov/owrd/pages/wr/drought.aspx
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) maintains a forecast of western water supplies at: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/wsf/wsf.html
Status of the Municipal WMCP Guidebook Update
Ten years after “Water Management and Conservation Plans: A Guidebook for Oregon Municipal Water Suppliers (May 2003)” was published, OWRD announced last April that it was planning to update the OAR Chapter 690, Division 86 WMCP guidebook.
A year later, OWRD has made great strides in this effort and is on track to complete a draft of the guidebook update by June 2014.  At that time, the draft will need to be peer-reviewed.  If you are interested in participating in the review process, OWRD would like to hear from you.  It is anticipated that the guidebook update review will occur during summer/fall 2014.
Contact:  Lisa Jaramillo, (503)986-0880 or Lisa.J.Jaramillo@wrd.state.or.us