Juggling Water Needs

Trey Smith

As we prepare to enter a summer season punctuated by drought, heated discussions have already begun in terms of which and whose water needs are paramount. In a front page story in yesterday's Statesman Journal, "Low Water in Detroit Lake Worries Residents", residents and business owners who depend on a full Detroit Lake for their livelihoods met with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Understandably, the central question on the minds of residents was -- Will Detroit Lake be filled?  And, just as understandably, the Corp said probably not.  This is NOT what folks wanted to hear!

While I can certainly sympathize with Detroit area residents -- who depend on Detroit Lake to spur their economic fortunes -- the driving force behind the construction of the various lakes and reservoirs in the Willamette Valley region is NOT recreation.  No, the central purposes of these bodies of water is "controlling runoff and providing flood control, irrigation, power generation, downstream navigation improvement,and recreation."  (Recreation is listed last.)

So what do you think SHOULD be the pecking order this year for parceling out our limited water resources?  Should we support filling lakes and reservoirs for summer tourists?

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Last time I was passing through the town of Detroit I suggest to the waitress at the Cedars that they ought to have a stump carving contest some weekend to bring in the tourists.

    Lots of stumps, no reservoir water. Why not? If they came out okay, if the wood wasn't too rotten, it could become a tourist attraction - like weird public art.

    Of course, this sounds like economic development that would bring money to low income and underemployed people, so the Republican would probably find a way to kill it.

  • Trey (unverified)

    Steve, That it's one WEIRD idea. Still, it's not a bad idea. It's creative and innovative.

    I'd worry though that some religious fanatic would show up and claim they saw a likeness of the Virgin Mary in one of the stumps.

connect with blueoregon