The nine federally-recognized tribes in Oregon and state agencies that regulate water are working towards a mutual partnership.

This follows the release of a nearly 300-page report detailing tribes’ concerns and issues with water quality and access. Tribal Water Task Force Summary Report_Final 02.02.2023

KLCC’s Brian Bull reports that the Tribal Water Task Force’s report is the culmination of several government-to-government meetings enacted by then-Governor Kate Brown in 2022.   Doug Woodcock is the Acting Director for the Oregon Water Resources Department.  Woodcock says: “The tribes have expressed frustration that when they have a matter of urgency that they want to talk to the state about, they’re not sure which agency they need to go to. So as a matter of efficiency, this education between us provides that avenue of, “Who is it that they ought to be talking to, around different issues?”

Examples include safe water habitat for salmon, a regular staple for many tribes, and clean and consistent water for communities. Woodcock says later this year, the Tribal Water Task Force will explore forming a working group between tribes and agencies to improve communication.

On the Warm Springs Reservation work being done to replace a critical water main for the Agency Water System is nearing completion.  Yesterday, Thu., Aug. 3, 2023,  seed was sprayed on the newly leveled dirt work areas along Hollywood Boulevard and at Quinn Park.  The replacement of this water main, that traverses Shitike Creek, is a major step in improving the water distribution infrastructure for the Warm Springs Agency Water System..