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New Update On Oregon's Drought

Oregon Water Resources Department
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23 of Oregon's 36 counties are now officially in drought. Governor Kate Brown Tuesday added Curry, Hood River and Union Counties to the list. Water managers say current stream conditions are as low as what is normally seen in mid to late August.

Drought_Rating_by_County_2015.png
Credit Oregon Water Resources Department
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Klamath, Lake and Malheur counties in southeast Oregon are in extreme drought, that's 3rd on a 4 tier scale of drought impacts. Other parts of the state are in severe drought. Diana Enright is a water policy analyst with Oregon's Water Resources Department. She says the U.S. Drought Monitor lists the Willamette Valley's drought conditions as moderate.

Enright: "It looks at a variety of factors including rainfall, which the valley really hasn’t had any of in quite a while. There've been thunderstorms down south and out east but the valley itself hasn’t really received much rainfall at all."

The combination of little rain and a lack of snowpack mean some municipalities have asked citizens to voluntarily restrict outdoor water use. Enright says there are lots of things people can do to conserve water, including letting lawns go brown for the summer.

 

Copyright 2015 KLCC

Rachael McDonald is News Director at KLCC. She’s been with the station for more than 10 years. Previously, she established the Richland, Washington bureau for the Northwest News Network. She also worked as News Director at KAZU in Monterey, California. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting.