Water Report 12/15/20 (Archive)

Water Report for 12/15/20:

Thank you to the Water Committee for monitoring surface water levels and continuing to research the impacts to our groundwater levels! WAG Holdings, the business that operates the marijuana farm and chemical refinery, has applied to Oregon Water Resources Dept. (OWRD) for a permit to drill a well, so that it can irrigate its 21 acres of hemp and marijuana.  If OWRD approves the well application, it could mean that WAG could take nearly 7 million gallons of water each year from the Chehalem Mountain Ground Water Limited aquifer which extends from Sherwood to Newberg, Hillsboro, Scholls up to Gaston The next step in this process is for OWRD to issue a proposed final decision on whether to approve the well.  That proposed decision might come as early as Dec. 23 (expiration date for current status of a 6 month Administrative Hold). Before the decision is made, WAG must address several issues, the major ones being: 1) Where/how They will obtain water during critical summer months, July 1 – September 30. 2) The impact on fish and streams that rely on water from the same aquifer as WAG’s well would be tapping into.  OWRD relies a recommendation from a committee of federal, state, local and tribal governmental entities, including Oregon Fish and Wildlife. Once OWRD issues a proposed final decision, WAG and the public have 45 days in which to contest the decision before OWRD finalizes it.  If the decision is to approve the well permit, then Save Chehalem Mountain would need to hire a water expert and a lawyer to contest the decision.

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