Another View on Local Water Issues, Part 3

My recent post of an email conversation with a Redmond resident received a lot of interest. Here is the 3rd email exchange I have had with him. The 2nd exchange did not add much to the conversation, but I think some readers might get something out of this one. Once again, another great example of how polarized we are and how much work needs to be done.

The email:

I drove to Tumalo and Cline Falls State park in Redmond yesterday. The water lever of the Deschutes River is very high and running strong. This upper water is feed from Lava lake to Wickiup Reservoir to to the Deschutes. Round Butte and Penton reservoirs are at 100%. WHY are we draining Wickiup? It appears that the valve is wide open? We don’t need FULL volume now unless POLITICS is controlling it. The Spotted OWL or the Spotted Frog don’t need this much water. The soil is not saturated and feeding the reservoirs like you mentioned. QUIT draining my fishing reservoirs. My $114.00 boat tags are due and the fishing permits are useless here. Forcing us to pay the Columbia River BS is terrible. GREED. I heard that some folks complained that the Deschutes water color wasn’t pretty so they let out more water. Get out of the office and come look. PLEASE.

Contact the folks telling the Reservoir workers what to do. SHAME on them. WE are NOT blind on this side of the hill. Everything is a record CRISIS sine they have been pushing normal global warming. Lets build underground and drill into mountains. Stick houses above ground are stupid.

My response:

At this time, Wickiup Reservoir is actually being refilled. Not long ago Wickiup was essentially empty, today it is 10% full.  The Middle Deschutes has multiple sources of water below Wickiup, including the Little Deschutes, Fall River, Spring River, and numerous springs.  As is the case every year at this time, the Middle is higher than it was during irrigation season as water is not being diverted into the canals and these other flows are allowed to continue on down the river.  Note that the flows you are currently seeing may look high to you but at about 400 cfs they are less than 25% of the historical flows.

The truth is I spend a heck of a lot of time on the water as well as attending meetings, reading reports, and talking to professionals.  Facts are important and I am careful with what I write.

If you are curious, here is the 2nd exchange. The email:

Thank you for your very educated safe response. Read the article on the guy from Ashland that got caught starting fires that killed people and the gal too. They state 90% of the fires are arson. BIDEN is asking for the (Build Back Better) bill for global warming using the NW fires as a political example asking for MORE MONEY. They are making all numbers look WORSE to paint a crisis situation. Same as posting covid deaths. I looked on the Deschutes death stat web page and we are having 12 more deaths a month now than we had in 2017. We have added about 30,000 folks in Deschutes County in the last 5 years. Stats and Numbers can not be relied on anymore. I have lived here 10 years. I fish Ochoco Reservoir  in Prineville the most. I could NOT get close to launching my boat this season. 2 degrees doesn’t drain a reservoir. Frogs and politicians do,Thank you again, I hope your kids  or grands will have any recreation in the future. VOTE right.

My response:

In “normal” years Ochoco and Prineville Reservoirs would actually fill 2 or 3 times a year.  Once during the winter and then maybe 2 more times in the spring and summer as snow in the Ochoco mountains slowly melted and refilled the reservoir.  The past few years the reservoirs have not filled once.  The drought is why you could not launch your boat.  These are facts, not opinions.

Neither Joe Biden nor the Antifa movement caused the drought.  Also, while humans and lighting are the primary cause of wildfires, they more easily ignite and spread in a drought.  Think about the last time you tried to light a fire using wet wood.