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Grande Ronde Basin

Grande Ronde Basin Overview

The Grande Ronde Basin lies in the northeast corner of the State of Oregon with a small portion in the southeast corner of the State of Washington. The Basin includes the land drained by the Imnaha River and its tributaries and also Snake River drainage in Oregon lying between the Imnaha and Snake Rivers along with the drainage basin proper of the Grande Ronde River. Containing 5,265 square miles, the Basin includes nearly all of Wallowa County, a large part of Union County and small portions of Umatilla and Baker Counties, all in Oregon, and small segments of Asotin, Garfield, and Columbia Counties in Washington. The drainage area of the Grande Ronde River itself is approximately 3,950 square miles.


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Integrated Water Resources Planning

Union County has convened a collaborative water planning process with diverse water interests who will work together to understand the water needs of the Upper Grande Ronde Sub-Basin and identify local solutions to meet those needs. The Upper Grande Ronde Sub-Basin is one of four places around the state undertaking place-based integrated wa​ter resources planning in Partnership with the Oregon Water Resources Department. This planning process is supported by a $197,000 grant from the Oregon Water Resources Department. 
For more information (or to subscribe to the email list), please call Scott Hartell, Union County Planning Director, at 541-963-1014.
Any questions about the place-based planning program​, can be directed to the OWRD Planning Coordinator that supports this effort - Steve Parrett, 503-986-0914
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Basin Program Rules

The Basin Program describes how water in the Grande Ronde Basin may be used. The Basin Program rules, along with the other rules and policies of the Water Resources Department govern how water is allocated and managed. The original rules were adopted in 1985. Modifications to the rules were adopted in 2016. A summary of the original rules and updates are provided in the table below.
Year​ ​Summary ​Link
2016​ ​Extended the date of r​eservations that sets water asid​​e for future economic development.​ Link​
​1985 ​Classifies​ w​ater uses and prescribes minimum streamflows. Sets aside water for future economic development. ​Link
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Studies, Reports, and Other Resources

​​​Year ​Autho​r(s) ​Title Link​
​2017 ​Oregon Water Resou​rces ​Department ​Upper Grand​e Ronde Map Gallery PDF (9 MB)
​1960 Oregon Water Resources ​Department Grande Ronde River Basin Study PDF​ (62 MB)
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Regional Contact Information

For information about water in your region, contact your Watermaster or Region Manager
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