OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU Conference to Examine Oregon's Limited Ground Water

12/05/2008

SALEM, Ore. – Water experts and owners of wells will meet on Dec. 11 in Salem to learn about and discuss growing concerns over Oregon's limited groundwater and to identify potential solutions.

The conference, called Wells and the Well-being of Oregon, is sponsored by Oregon State University's Institute for Water and Watersheds and OSU's Oregon Sea Grant Extension Service. It's geared not only toward individuals who use wells but also water-masters, hydrogeologists, land use planners, real estate agents, lawyers and public officials.

"Well owners and professionals can be part of the solution," said Sam Chan, the watershed health specialist for Oregon Sea Grant Extension. "Owners of wells need to understand that their actions can help stretch the supply of water, protect water quality and make supplies more predictable. For their part, professionals can better forecast supplies and trends and improve technologies, water quality and the regulatory environment."

Kevin McCray, executive director of the National Ground Water Association, will give the keynote address on the ground water industry in the United States. Others will speak about the status of wells in Oregon, ground water trends, regulatory obstacles and case studies in areas with limited ground water.

OSU Extension specialist Mike Gamroth will teach owners of wells how to protect and improve their water quality. Representatives from Oregon Sea Grant Extension will describe how the program has trained owners of wells to collect data on water levels in areas where ground water is limited.

The conference will open with remarks from Phil Ward, the director of the Oregon Water Resources Department; Jay Rasmussen, the interim director of Oregon Sea Grant; and Michael Campana, the director of the Institute for Water and Watersheds at OSU.

The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Northwest Viticulture Center at 215 Doaks Ferry Rd. N.W. To register, go to http://oregonstate.edu/conferences/wells2008. People can also register at the door during the day of the event. The cost, which includes lunch and a post-symposium social with tapas, is $50.