Recap and highlights from the October 30 meeting
By Patti Ferry, Newport Chamber of Commerce
What a turnout at the Yachats Commons! There was standing room only in the back! We were warmly welcomed to the area by Jim Tooke and fed on enchiladas, salad, and cookies from Bread & Roses Bakery. Thank you!
Jeanne & Shirlene, our facilitators for the evening, gave a brief outline of the meeting and reviewed our meeting guidelines. We went around the room of 70+ people making introductions and welcomed 16 new people to the group.
Alan Fujishin shared some thoughts on the drought of 2018. He felt it helped us test our systems to see what was working and where they might be holes or vulnerabilities. Hay yields were down and farmers needed to start their cattle on eating hay as early as August (Usually October) as fields were sparse for grazing. Tree seedlings planted earlier in the year were dying along with some older trees due to lack of sufficient water. Fish were not travelling up the low streams and we saw a county-wide burn ban. Rick added in Yachats they went to a Level 2. In 2015 they learned that moving to a level 3 would mean hotels couldn’t do laundry….which would affect tourism….the main industry in Yachats. So they started looking at solutions, including increased storage, because the current growth trends show they will outgrow their existing water systems. The 2018 drought brought this home again.
Next we heard form Sarah Giles (Project Manager) and Wendy Willis (Director of OSU Oregon Kitchen Program) who rolled out the Mid-Coast Water Survey. The partnership’s help is needed in getting the word out to take the survey. Please post on your social
networks, e-mail your friends and co-workers, talk about it at meetings, and direct folks to bit.ly/midcoastwater. Thank you! This survey by Oregon’s Kitchen Table is part of a Meyers Memorial Trust grant to reach out to those not usually reached and will look at what participants think about water.
Rachel LovellFord was up next to talk about water rights and water usage in a broad sense to give us context for later discussions. She reviewed WRIS (water rights data) and WARS (water availability data) which are used to give an “accounting” of water usage and make sure more water rights are not handed out than is actually available. She indicated that although we have data on water rights and water use, we don’t actually know exactly how much is being used at a particular point in time on a particular waterway. The data she presented provides an overview and gives us all a basic starting point for our planning.
We learned there are many unique rights, and the highest number of rights are for domestic, irrigation, in-stream, and municipal use. The biggest water rights in terms of amount of water used are for municipal, industrial, and instream water use – although it depends on what river or stream you’re looking at. Rachel reviewed some data to show how the Water Resources Department develops estimates of median flow for every basin. The period of record used to develop these models was from 1958-1987. There were lots of questions from the audience!
Alan and Harmony took the floor again to let us know how we’re moving forward on Step 3 of our process. Step 3 is about really getting a good grasp on our current water use, potential future water needs, and vulnerabilities. This will help us really focus in on the issues we want to tackle together. The big takeaway is that the work is essentially the same, but we’re distributing the workload differently and it might take us a bit more time than expected. The Working Groups are going to take more of a leadership role in Step 3. They presented a Work Plan that shows that the Working Groups will meet regularly and we will have updates from them at future Partnership meetings.
Speaking of which! On to updates from our three work groups: In-stream/Ecology, Self-Supplied Users, and Municipal/Water District Suppliers.
Wayne Hoffman gave his final report (as he is retiring! Congratulations!) on what In-Stream/Ecology has been up to. They are looking at in-stream and biotic priorities to understand and manage the consequences of stream withdrawals for public and private use. He also discussed land use changes and climate change impacts on streamflows. Going forward they plan to prioritize waterways based on their biological significance as well as current and potential future withdrawals, analyze how to balance instream and out-of-stream uses, and identify projects to study, restore, and/or protect rivers. If you live on a stream, talk to this group about the benefits of gravel beds at the mouth of the creeks feeding the streams!
Self-Supplied Water Users (Rural Domestic, Agriculture, Industry)
Next up was Jo Morgan for the Self-Supplied Water Users update. They are working on water quality for rural domestic use, water conservation needs and opportunities, water supply vulnerabilities, and infrastructure needs and demands. They are also interested in understanding what resources might be available to help self-supplied water users with each of these issues. At the last meeting Amy Chapman with Lincoln County Health gave an overview on what “safe” drinking water actually means and how it is regulated for self-supplied users. People on wells are currently responsible for understanding their water quality, and the quality is only required to be tested when the property is sold. If you’d like to join in this group they meet the second Wednesday of the month from 1-4 at the Newport Public Library.
Municipal/Water District Suppliers
Lastly we heard from Stephanie Reid of the Municipal and Water District Suppliers Working Group. They meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 10 am at the Seal Rock Water District Offices. The four critical issues they identified for their group are: lack of collaboration between water providers, water conservation needs and opportunities, water supply vulnerabilities, and resources for infrastructure. They want to develop a plan share and leverage resources and are working to develop a Mid-Coast Water Conservation Consortium.
The rest of the evening was spent in break-out groups discussing the Working Group priorities and how they can move forward and support one another.
We want to hear from you! Fill out the survey!
Water and water supply affects all aspects of life in our region. Most of our water falls as rain during the winter and most of that water is not stored for very long. During the summer, when there is little rain, the Mid-Coast faces water shortages and droughts like other places in Oregon. In 2018, Lincoln County was in a severe drought for most of the summer. Starting today, we can share our thoughts at http://bit.ly/midcoastwater to help make decisions about how to best prepare our region to meet our water needs.
The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership – is made up of people with many different water interests from Cascade Head to Cape Perpetua and is working to balance a number of water needs and factors in our region. And now – they want to hear your thoughts and ideas.
Tackling our water issues will take everyone. So, it’s time to hear from you! We need as many people as possible who live, work, own businesses, or often visit the Mid-Coast to share their opinions.
The responses will be compiled by Oregon’s Kitchen Table, a program of the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University, ensuring their anonymity. A summary of responses will be shared early next year.
So pull up a chair at Oregon’s Kitchen Table – it will take you less than 10 minutes! And please share with your friends, neighbors and colleagues. The water Planning Partnership will be collecting input for through November 30th, 2018.
Next Partnership Meeting October 30th
The next meeting of the Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership will meet on Tuesday, October 30, 2018 from 4-8pm at the Yachats Community Commons, 441 Hwy 101 North, Yachats, OR. Dinner will be served. First time attendees, please arrive at 3:30 for an orientation to the Partnership.
The public is invited to attend this free event, generously hosted by the City of Yachats. Participants will help Oregon’s Kitchen Table kick-off the Partnership’s public engagement survey on local values and attitudes about water. They will also learn about and discuss water rights and water use on the Mid-Coast from Oregon Water Resources Department staff. Attendees will have a chance to engage with the Partnership’s Working Groups, which have been gathering information about current and future water supply needs on the Coast.
Please RSVP at bit.ly/mwpprsvp.
The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership consists of regional partners who are working collaboratively to understand and meet the water needs for environments, economies, and coastal communities. More information is online at www.midcoastwaterpartners.com.
Recap and highlights from the May 30 meeting
By Patti Ferry, Newport Chamber of Commerce
We found ourselves in the newly remodeled Best Western Plus Agate Beach for our May 30th partnership meeting. We were treated to go a picnic of hamburgers, fries and cookies.
There were about 60 of us in attendance ready to learn updates on where we were and to move into Step 3 of the planning process. Step 3 has us looking 20-50 years out in planning. We were reminded that we work towards a consensus building agreement as this will be a long race built on solid information and relationships. We need to strive for understanding so that all voices have a chance to be heard.
We reviewed our Mission which reminded us we are looking for local solutions and to be future focused. We are now ready to move forward to identifying the needs and the priorities.
An integrated water strategy that will help others implement their projects and balance water needs is our goal.
Tim gave us an update on the water planning meeting in Bend, with all 4 of the planning groups across the state working with the Water Resources Department on this program. At the meeting they discussed the good, bad, and the challenging. Wayne added that the situations and level of crisis varies place to place but each planning group’s desire and ability to reach consensus on shared solutions was similar. The Harney Basin is already in a state of crisis where they find they have over allocated for their surface and ground water. Grande Ronde is working on their plan to plan ahead and avoid future crisis. The Lower John Day s looking is experiencing some localized challenges and sees opportunities to work together on solutions that benefit the whole basin. Audrey added that she left the event energized and felt that the collaborative approach that all groups are using is the right approach. We have a lot to learn from one another. Some groups are further ahead which can help foretell what the process will hold.
All four groups are embarking on a Learning Partnership with the Ford Family Foundation and the Water Resources Department to figure out shared interests and priorities across the state and to speak with one voice.
Ronan from GSI spoke next on preparing us for prioritizing our work. It’s time for us to roll up our sleeves and get going on a water needs assessment. We heard quick reports from the work groups on the issues their meetings had uncovered. The points were on sheets posted on the wall, with a few extra sheets for anything we missed. We were asked to put a dot by the issues that we feel the groups should focus on since we can’t do it all! Not right away, anyway. We had 21 issues from which to choose plus any we added.
Then we took a break for cookies!
With round one of the dot exercise complete we looked at the top dot collectors. We also found that we missed important issues like Cascadia event prep, ground cover, and timber management. We then got up and put a smiley face dot to our #1 issue. This exercise will help the working group set their priorities and develop a work plan.
Alan presented a short revision to our Charter which was approved unanimously. We closed on a positive celebrating the completion of Steps 1 and 2 and moving forward into Step 3. Next we heard from Harmony for the communication committee about the first of several planned public panel discussions. The first one takes place June 14th. Caroline then announced the first two recipients of stipends released from the grants committee: Audrey Sweet and Wayne Hoffman. The committee still has some funds available so request should be submitted by mid-June.
Our next meeting will be hosted by the beautiful city of Yachats, “the gem of the Oregon Coast,” on August 28 from 4-8pm. We hope to see you there!
June 14th event – How will we balance our water needs?
The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership, Newport Chapter of Surfrider Foundation, Hatfield Marine Science Center, City of Newport, and the Oregon Water Resources Department will host a panel on meeting the water needs of the Mid-Coast. Anyone interested is invited to attend Thursday, June 14, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm (doors open at 5:30) at the Hatfield Marine Science Center – Visitor Center Auditorium. A panel of local experts representing diverse water interests will ask the question: How can we meet the water needs of our communities, the environment, and the economy now and in the future? Attendees will be encouraged to write down questions for the panel.
The discussion will be followed by interactive exhibits with information about water quantity, water quality, ecology, and infrastructure from Cascade Head to Cape Perpetua. There will be food available and time to mingle and learn after the presentation.
Wisely managing our water resources is critical for the future or our region and the state of Oregon. Water pressures, if left unaddressed, will intensify over time.The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership is a regional planning group representing diverse interests that works collaboratively to understand and meet current and future water needs. Working together, the Partnership will develop an integrated plan to meet long-term water needs. The Partnership meets 4 to 5 times a year and welcomes anyone who is interested.
Next Partnership Meeting May 30, 2018
The next meeting of the Mid Coast Water Planning Partnership is scheduled for Wednesday, May 30, from 4 – 8:00 pm at the Agate Beach Best Western, 3019 N. Coast Highway, Newport, Oregon. First Timers – please arrive at 3:30 for an orientation to the Partnership. Dinner will be served.
In February, the Partnership embarked on an effort to define current and future water needs for the Mid Coast Region. Three work groups were formed to identify needs from the perspective of In-Stream Ecological needs, Municipal and Water District suppliers, Self-Supplied water users. The May 30 meeting will include status reports from the Working Groups, a briefing on climate change from the US Army Corps of Engineers, and a preview of plans to conduct a survey to determine water interests of local residents and businesses.
The public is invited to attend to learn more about the region’s current and future water needs.
Please RSVP at bit.ly/mwpprsvp. The Mid Coast Water Planning Partnership consists of regional partners who are working collaboratively to understand and meet the water needs of the environment, the economy, and coastal communities. More information can be found online at www.midcoastwaterpartners.com.
Stipends available for travel and partner participation – apply now!
The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership (MCWPP) has accomplished a great deal through partner collaborations. We have been very fortunate to secure some funding from Meyer Memorial Trust and the Oregon Community Foundation that can be used to help our partners representing non-profits and educational institutions participate at a higher level in the Partnership. Please see below for details on how to apply.
Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership
Participation and Travel Stipends
April 30, 2018
Caroline Bauman, Economic Development Alliance
The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership is pleased to announce that a participation and travel stipend fund is now open for applications. There is no deadline for applications. A total of $30,000.00 is available for this year (2018). Participants may request funds for expenses associated with participation and/or travel. Grant awards will be limited to $5,000 per applicant per calendar year.
Applications are accepted from nonprofit and academic organizations located or working in Lincoln County and/or the Mid-Coast planning area (from Cascade Head in the North to Cape Perpetua in the South, west to the ridge of the Coastal range). Any nonprofit is eligible, including volunteers from special districts, chambers, trade associations and educational institutions.
Applications consist of one-page letters on organizational letterhead. The letter should contain the following components:
Name of organization and person who will represent the organization.
Number of hours of participation expected (based on participation in Working Groups, attendance at meetings, or a particular task that you intend to assist with).
Explain why this stipend is beneficial, and why this particular person is the choice.
Address how the person will represent the group, and how they will convey information back to others.
Address how participation in the Water Planning Partnership will be mutually beneficial to the organization and the Partnership.
A completed W-9 form.
If funding for travel is being requested, please estimate the expected travel for partnership purposes, and the costs associated with that travel.
A grant committee consisting of non-benefitting persons will review and recommend grant distributions and will notify recipients within one month of receiving their letter. Awards will be granted on a rolling basis until the funds are fully allocated.
Email completed applications to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail completed applications to:
Economic Development Alliance ∣ Mid-Coast Water Partners Funding PO Box 716 ∣ Newport OR, 97365
Questions? Call Caroline Bauman (541) 961-3837
Funding request for partners – we need your help!
The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership (MCWPP) has accomplished a great deal through partner collaborations. We need to raise some additional funds to close our funding gap this spring (by June 15). Fortunately, Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) has generously offered a 2:1 challenge grant up to $15,000. If the Partnership can raise $7500, we can take full advantage of this grant. Please review the details of this opportunity below. Any amount you can contribute will be greatly appreciated. Please contact me at 541-574-3366 if you are able to help.
Request for Funding Consideration and OWRD Challenge Grant
Mid-Coast Water Planning Partners
April 26, 2018
Timothy Gross, Co-Convener, Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership
The Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership (MCWPP) is asking for the Partnership community’s funding help in continuing its work during Spring 2018.
Since its inception in 2016, the MCWPP has engaged over 200 stakeholders in Partnership Meetings, Field Tours, and Study Groups. The Partners have produced a governing Charter, reports summarizing water resources on the Mid-Coast, and education and outreach efforts that highlight the importance of water in the region. Over 60 individuals and organizations have signed its Charter. The next leg, already underway, will identify local water needs, both today and in the future.
Now, the MCWPP is asking for Partner assistance in funding our next steps during the current fiscal year. To continue the current planning step on schedule through June 2018, the Partnership needs an additional estimated $15,000. While outside funding sources may provide some of that amount, the Partnership will have to decelerate or defer its work if no new funds are available this spring, at risk of losing the momentum built thus far.
Thankfully, Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) has offered a challenge grant in the form of a $2-to-$1 giving match, up to $15,000. If the Partnership can raise $7500, it can take full advantage of this challenge.
There are other opportunities for Partner involvement. Partners can also support the effort by providing or sponsoring a meeting venue or a meal for the group, hosting an educational field tour, or developing panel discussions or presentations. For example, the City of Yachats has graciously agreed to host an upcoming Partnership meeting at the Yachats Commons. These in-kind contributions really help the Partnership; however, they are not considered a ‘match’ for the OWRD challenge grant.
If you or your organization can make a timely contribution this fiscal year (by June 15, 2018) to support inclusive, locally-informed, regional water planning on the Mid-Coast, please contact Timothy Gross, Co-Convener and City of Newport Public Works Director/City Engineer directly by email at T.Gross@newportoregon.gov or by phone at 541-574-3366.
Thank you for considering making this special commitment to our communities’ water planning future!
The MCWPP is a gathering of regional partners who work collaboratively to understand and balance the water needs of Mid-Coast communities, environments and economies.
Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership convenes work groups to identify water needs
By Alan Fujishin, Gibson Farms
While it may or may not feel like Spring on the Oregon Coast, members of the Mid-Coast Water Planning Partnership have sprung into action to assess Current and Future Water Needs locally, continuing the process of creating a place-based plan for balancing the area’s water resources.
At its February 22 meeting in Newport, the Partnership formed volunteer Work Groups to help gather, analyze, and summarize local water needs and priorities from different perspectives. The groups are organized around water uses. Self-Supplied users include agricultural and industrial water rights holders, as well as domestic water users who provide their own water from a private well or spring. Municipal and Special Water District users represent those districts and the customers who buy water from community water systems. Instream and Ecology focuses on the water needs of fish, wildlife, recreation, and other ecosystem services in local waterways.
The Work Groups plan to create and circulate Surveys to gather information about local water priorities. The responses will help inform reports that the Partnership will use to characterize current and future water needs. It’s also an opportunity for community members to get involved with the work of the Partnership for the first time.
“One of the biggest outcomes I hope for is that we can all, as a region, look at and address our water issues as a whole rather than as individual people or organizations just focusing on our own individual issues and needs.”
Scott Andry, City of Waldport
It’s not too late to participate in one of the Work Groups! Check out the information on the Working Groups web-page to view the roster of people leading and participating in the working groups and sign up for the mailing list: http://midcoastwaterpartners.com/working-group-meetings/.
More information about Work Groups, and the Partnership, is online at www.midcoastwaterpartners.com.
Upcoming meeting on February 22, will we see you there?
Our first meeting of the new year will be held on Thursday, February 22 from 4-8 pm at the Agate Beach Best Western. Newcomers, please arrive at 3:30 pm (if possible) to receive a welcome packet. Meeting materials are maintained online at – http://midcoastwaterpartners.com/partnership-meetings/. Please RSVP at bit.ly/mwpprsvp.
Where have we been? Where are we going? Who’s been involved?
280 stakeholders on our master list and 120 actively participating
50+ partners have signed the charter
5 Partnership meetings with an average attendance of 50 people
8 Study Group meetings with an average attendance of 12
3 field tours averaging 35-40 attendees
4 Communication and Outreach meetings with ~10 members regularly participating
15 Coordinating Committee meetings with ~10 members regularly
What did we accomplish?
Formed new collaborative relationships with new partners
Shared technical information, resources, and assistance among partners
Developed a shared baseline understanding of water resources in the Mid-Coast
Developed technical reports on water quantity, water quality, ecology, and infrastructure
Developed and signed a Charter
Developed and began to execute a Communication and Outreach Plan
Secured grant funding to keep us moving forward