The council recognizes that local economic and ecological prosperity is dependent upon the current and future availability and quality of water; therefore the Harney County Watershed Council is committed to this three part goal;
Determine the health of individual watersheds or watershed segments,
Retain the health of high quality watersheds,
Restore and enhance those watersheds, or portions thereof that can be improved.
The current monitoring project seeks to monitor ground water levels in several areas of the Harney Basin for the next five years.
This is the fourth segment of our project.
Nothing exists without water. The Harney County Watershed Council has received grant funding from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board to organize a groundwater study in the Harney Basin. The first portion of this project was to contact all landowner/stakeholders within the project boundaries to ask for support, cooperation and information.
Our main objectives with this study are to protect existing water rights, protect our groundwater resources and to collect meaningful data that will allow us to manage our groundwater in a responsible manner. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not multiple aquifers exist within the Basin, to find out where there is adequate water supply to support more groundwater development and to identify areas where existing water rights may need protection.
What is at stake? There is the potential for basin wide regulatory action. Areas within the basin with adequate groundwater supply could be penalized due to the fact that we do not have credible data to prove multiple aquifers exist within the basin. Without documentation this could affect us basin wide, instead of just where problems are identified. Property values could decrease, economic development could be affected. Depletion of groundwater could affect all users.
The Harney County Watershed Council is not a part of county government, we are a volunteer non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission and purpose is to retain, enhance or restore high quality watershed in the Malheur Lakes Basin which includes all of Harney County. Please join us in protecting our most precious commodity and resource, Harney Basin’s groundwater.
Groundwater Investigation Boundaries