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Stewardship and Conservation Awards
Recognition from the Water Resources Commission is given on an annual basis to individual citizens, groups, businesses, or other partners that show outstanding commitment to the Oregon Water Resources Department's mission to promote responsible water management and to conserve Oregon's water resources.
Photo gallery of 2007 award ceremony
City of Pendleton (May 2007)
Faced with continuing declines in their water supply wells, the City of Pendleton developed, in coordination with the Department, an aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) program.  The City injects and stores treated Umatilla River water in basalt wells during the winter and spring months when water is available in the river.  When the City can no longer use water from the Umatilla River during the summer and fall months for injection purposes, the stored treated water is pumped back out of the wells and served to the community.  With the use of ASR, the City has been able to shore up its water supplies while reducing reliance on critical ground water supplies by using surface water collected during wet months.
City of Pendleton Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program
Deschutes River Conservancy (May 2007)
The Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC) is a non-profit organization with a mission to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes Basin.  Over the past ten years, the DRC has implemented many on the ground restoration projects using instream leasing, water right transfers, and irrigation efficiency projects. The DRC has also worked with the Department and individual ground water users to help meet water supply needs through the State’s first mitigation bank.
Streamflow Restoration in the Deschutes Basin
In 2006, the DRC worked with irrigation districts and private land owners in the Deschutes Basin to lease approximately 93 cubic feet per second.  The DRC is also a statewide leader in irrigation efficiency projects that can be submitted to the State’s “allocation of conserved water program.”  They have worked with several central Oregon irrigation districts to restore the flow of the Deschutes River and its tributaries while improving the water management efficiency through canal lining and on-farm delivery projects.  Using this program, they have been able to restore over 7 cubic feet per second of water instream.
Baker Valley Soil & Water Conservation District
and Baker Valley Irrigation District (May 2006)
Doni Clair and Jim Colton spearheaded a number of water quality enhancements in the Powder River. The installation of an additional 12 miles of mainline pipe to consolidate the diversion of stockwater from six ditches into one pipeline increased streamflow during a critical time of the year. Dams at each of the six diversions were replaced by fish-friendly rock weirs, allowing year-round fish movement through the entire reach. The project improved water quality by removing cattle from the stream corridor and restoring riparian zone vegetation, and extended fish passage year-round through nine miles of the Powder River.

A single main pipeline reduced diversion and increased streamflow during critical flow periods.

City of Bend Public Works Department (May 2006)
The City of Bend Public Works Department is being recognized for outstanding education and outreach efforts under their WaterWise Program. “Water isn’t all you save,” the City of Bend’s WaterWise program motto, says it all. Patrick Griffiths, City of Bend Public Works Department, is the Project Coordinator for the WaterWise media campaign. The program goals are to create informed water users who choose wise water use over waste, and integrate and invest in best conservation practices both indoors and out, at their homes and businesses.
As part of their effort, the City of Bend published “An Introduction to Xeriscaping in the High Desert and Pictorial Plant Guide for Central & Eastern Oregon” through an interagency cooperative effort involving multiple cities and Oregon State University Extension. Xeriscaping is a landscaping method that combines water conservation techniques with horticultural practices to develop a beautiful landscape that is more sustainable and requires less water, energy, and time to maintain.
Xeriscaping combines water conservation with horticultural practices to create a beautiful landscape that uses less water, energy, and effort.
Oregon Water Trust (May 2006)
The Oregon Water Trust is being recognized for their leadership in streamflow restoration. Established in 1993, the Trust is the country’s first private, non-profit organization dedicated to restoring depleted streamflows. The Trust has pioneered many of the state’s flow restoration tools, including permanent instream transfers, short-term instream leases, allocations of conserved water, acquiring stored water contracts to enhance flows, moving point of diversions downstream for instream benefits, and voluntary water right diminishment or cancellation to leave water instream during critical periods. In 2005, the Trust worked with over 200 landowners on 96 projects restoring 150 cubic feet per second of streamflow in nine different river basins in the state. The result: more water for healthy watersheds in Oregon.
Port of Portland (April 2005)
The Port of Portland was nominated for the most improved water management and conservation planning efforts of all municipal water providers in the past two years.  The Port’s comprehensive water management program demonstrates that responsible water management can benefit both local water users and the state’s water resources.

Port of Portland
Farmers Irrigation District (April 2005)
Farmers Irrigation District proposed a project that would optimize hydropower production and also address instream needs for fish.  The District was granted hydropower water rights and agreed to install fish screens on all diversions to improve fish passage.  Two of the District’s growers installed one of the first horizontal fish screens on their Dead Point Creek Diversion. The fish screen worked well, required little cleaning and allowed fish passage upstream.  In 2001, the District constructed the first full-scale version of this screen on their Hood River diversion.  The District has established the Farmers Conservation Alliance and dedicated screen proceeds to projects of a sustainable nature.

A horizontal flat-plate screen installed by Farmers Irrigation District diverts water into twin 48-inch pipes for irrigation but allows fish passage upstream.

Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon (April 2005)
The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon began planning a new water treatment plant and water service system to meet its immediate water needs while reducing demands on the Grand Ronde Water Association system.  The goal was to take the tribal development off the Grand Ronde community water system, and perhaps provide an emergency backup supply for the community.  The Tribes have also completed a number of fish passage and aquatic habitat improvement projects on the South Yamhill River and other area streams.

The Grand Ronde Tribes have completed many fish-passage and aquatic-habitat improvement projects on the South Yamhill River and other area streams, including replacing culverts, placing woody debris and boulders, and improving fish spawning areas.
Crown Hill Farm (May 2004)
Juliette and Lucien Gunderman of Crown Hills Farm operate a sophisticated "minor" hydroelectric project and have employed exemplary conservation measures over the years. The project is a great example of the potential that small hydroelectric projects can play in meeting Oregon´s energy needs in a sustainable manner.
Arnold Irrigation District (May 2004)
The irrigation district´s comprehensive water measurement program demonstrates that responsible water management can have dramatic benefits for district water users and the state´s water resource. Shawn Gerdes, district manager,  has overseen the development of the water measurement program.
Tumalo Irrigation District (February 2002)
Elmer McDaniels, Secretary-Manager of Tumalo Irrigation District, and the other district staff are exemplary models in responsible water management, conservation, and restoration of Oregon's water resources. The district is lining its main canals and, through the allocation of conserved water, is enhancing flows in Tumalo Creek and the Deschutes River. Tumalo Project Slide Show (PDF 2.5 MB)
City of Portland (October 2001)
The Portland Water Bureau´s Business, Industry and Government (BIG) program provides water audits and technical assistance to businesses, industry, and other water use sectors to reduce water and energy needs. Slide Show (PDF 1.6 MB)
Willamette Industries, Inc. (February 2001)
Willamette Industries has demonstrated responsible management, conservation, and restoration of the state's water resources by undertaking a review of their water use and water rights. The result has been the voluntary cancellation of water rights totaling 8.08 cfs and changing points of diversion downstream resulting in the protection of increased flows between the old and new diversions totalling hearly 25 cfs. The company has also worked with the Department to lease 7.05 cfs instream.
City of Redmond (November 2000)
The City of Redmond was one of the early communities to work through the conservation planning requirements and to recognize the utility of the water management and conservation plan in dealing with water supply issues. Slide Show (PDF 1.5 MB)
City of Wilsonville (November 2000)
The City of Wilsonville is a leader in implementing water conservation programs including conservation pricing, mandatory (peak season) water restrictions, financial incentives, an in-depth public information program, a Xerophytic demonstration project, the Waterwise Education Campaign, and many other community activities.
Superior Lumber Company (August 1999)
Superior Lumber Company worked with the state to improve the natural environment by enhancing streamflows in Windy Creek near Glendale. The company leased a portion of its water rights to instream use and moved a diversion downstream to increase flows in more than a mile of the creek that once ran dry during a period in which water was most needed to support migrating salmon.