OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

New OSU Press book explores water in Oregon

07/14/1998

CORVALLIS - The combination of generous rainfall, hundreds of creeks and streams, and the mighty Columbia River provide the state with all of the water it needs. At least, that is what most Oregonians believe.

But Oregon may be running out of "easy water."

That is the conclusion of a new book published by the Oregon State University Press that explores water use in the state. "Waters of Oregon: A Source Book on Oregon's Water and Water Management" was written by Rick Bastasch, who receive a bachelor's degree in earth science from OSU in 1976, and a master's in resource geography in 1984.

A lifelong Oregonian, Bastasch worked for 12 years with the Oregon Water Resources Department. That experience has helped him provide perspective on Oregon's complex water usage laws and history.

The wide-ranging book looks at water allocation history in the state, the public's interest in water, water rights and other approval processes, water resources and watershed management, and other stream and groundwater activities.

"Waters of Oregon" also features a comprehensive index to Oregon's water laws, a detailed listing of the state's water regulations cross-referenced to appropriate agencies, and a glossary of water terms.

So why is Oregon running out of easy water?

Bastasch says the state has developed "a complex system to manage (water) resources over the last 100 years. The system started as a progressive effort to bring order to chaos through state management of a publicly-owned resource...But its successes have not kept pace with a changing Oregon.

"Now," he added, "there is simply not enough water to get everyone what they want when they want it."

The book, "Waters of Oregon," is available at book stores and libraries, or can be purchased directly by calling 1-800-426-3797.