Governor Kate Brown has been declaring drought emergencies in Oregon counties since early this year; there are now declared emergencies in 23 of the state’s 36 counties.

On July 29, Brown ordered state agencies to cut their water consumption by 15% over the next 5 years.  Meanwhile, millions of fish in the Pacific Northwest have already died in the warmer waters of the last few months.

How might water shortages affect the economy, the environment and the lives of average Oregonians?

On Friday, September 25, attendees at the Salem City Club luncheon will find out, when Racquel Rancier, Senior Policy Coordinator for the Oregon Water Resources Department (ODWR) addresses the group.

Rancier will summarize how the state of Oregon is analyzing and addressing our drought and water supply challenges.  Among her topics will be:

• Current statewide drought conditions and potential impacts

• State and federal water law and the process of addressing drought

• Looking to the future: climate change, declining snowpack, and water availability.

• State strategies to assist Oregon communities adapt to water supply challenges.

Marion and Polk county farms and gardeners already report smaller yields this summer due to increased temperatures; might they have to cut back on irrigation and even eliminate crops, as some California farmers already do?

Portland’s municipal water was 3 billion gallons short of its average supply this July.  Might City of Salem water consumers face the same reality?

Might Salem and Keizer residents, like those in Junction City and Oakridge, find it illegal to water lawns outside of approved dates?

How much of Salem’s 2015 experience of heat and drought conditions are a fluke, and how much represent “the new normal?”

These and other questions will be answerd in a discussion that promises to be informative and thought provoking.


Confronting Drought and Water Scarcity in Oregon

Racquel Rancier, Senior Policy Coordinator, Oregon Water Resources Department 

Salem City Club

Friday, September 25

Willamette Heritage Center, Spinning Room

Doors open 11:30

Noon – 1 p.m.

nonmembers $20 lunch

nonmembers $7 program only