CORVALLIS - Oregon's most pressing water problems are the focus of Oregon State University's 13th annual James A. Vomocil Water Quality Conference.
The daylong conference scheduled for Nov. 6 at OSU will bring together Oregon researchers, leaders and interested persons to compare ideas and chart progress in dealing with state water quality, supply and allocation issues.
"This conference has the reputation for being a conversation between scientists and the public," said Ron Miner, an OSU professor of bioresource engineering and conference coordinator. "We strive to make this information highly accessible."
The three main topics on conference agenda are livestock production issues, watershed restoration issues and Klamath Basin watershed issues.
Questions and debates over water quality and quantity have been simmering for years in southern Oregon's Klamath Basin. Oregon's worst drought in 24 years brought the matter to a boil. The issue is how to allocate scarce water resources amid farmers' demand for changes in the federal Endangered Species Act that would ease strong conservation measures protecting the endangered sucker fish. These measures now include limiting how much water farmers can have for irrigation.
Representatives of the main elements in the Klamath Basin issue are scheduled to attend the conference.
The conference's examination of watershed restoration issues will focus on the diagnosis and treatment of stream vitality through stream temperature monitoring and conservation measures. Finding new ways to improve fish habitat along the coast also is on the agenda.
Keeping livestock and dairy operations viable while reducing environmental impacts from streamside grazing and dairy waste is also is also a focus for discussion.
Registration for the James A. Vomocil Water Quality Conference is $30, which includes lunch. The conference will be held at LaSells Stewart Center, 26th Street and Western Boulevard in Corvallis. Co-sponsors of the event are the OSU Extension Service and OSU's Center for Water & Environmental Sustainability.
For more information, or to obtain registration forms, contact OSU Water Quality Conference, Department of Bioengineering, OSU, Corvallis, OR 97331 or call. 541-737-2041.
8 a.m. Registration in foyer
9:05 Welcome; "Oak Creek restoration update," Rich Holdren, interim vice provost for research, OSU
9:15 "Microbial source tracking: principles and practice," Mansour Samadpour, the University of Washington
10:45 "Introduction to issues of water allocation and provisions of the Endangered Species Act
as they apply to the Klamath Basin," Ron Hathaway, OSU Extension Service, Klamath Falls
11:20 "Anaerobic digestion of dairy cattle manure in the Willamette Valley," Joe Barra, Portland General Electric, Portland
Noon Lunch and conversation in the lobby
Concurrent Afternoon Sessions
Klamath Basin Watershed Issues, Construction Engineering Auditorium
Presiding: Ken Williamson, head of the OSU Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
1 p.m. "Introduction and perspective," Ron Hathaway, head of the OSU Extension Service office in Klamath County
1:15 "Impact of the Klamath Basin water situation on farmers and their communities," John Crawford, a farmer from Tule Lake, Ore.
1:35 "A tribal perspective on the Klamath Basin issue," Alan Forman, the president of the Klamath Tribal Council
2:00 "Water law, rights and adjudication in the Klamath Basin," Reed Marbut of the Oregon Department of Water Resources in Salem
2:30 "Biological background on endangered species listings in the Klamath Basin," Doug Markle of OSU's Fisheries and Wildlife Department
3:00 Conversation break
3:30 "Water quality issues in the Klamath Basin," Ken Rykbost, superintendent of the Klamath Experiment Station
3:45 "The economic impact of water management decisions in the Klamath basin," Jim Cornelius, OSU agricultural economist, Agricultural and Resource Economics.
4:15 "Ecological impact of water management decisions in the Klamath Basin," Reed Benson, executive director of Water Watch Oregon.
Livestock Production and Water
Presiding: James Moore, OSU Department of Bioengineering
1 p.m. "Compliance with the Clean Water Act: Oregon animal feeding operations, making it work in the field," Randy Mills, OSU Extension Agent from Umatilla County, and Jay Carr, Extension agent from Baker County
1:50 "Pollution prevention expectations of the EPA," Joe Roberto, from the Seattle office of the Environmental Protection Agency
2:25 "Pollution prevention expectations of the Oregon Department of Agriculture," Chuck Craig, ODA, Salem.
3:20 "Range management techniques to provide rancher income with water quality protection," John Buckhouse and Bill Krueger, OSU Rangeland Resources Department
3:50 "Helping Oak Creek and the Neighborhood," Mike Gamroth, OSU Extension dairy specialist
Presiding: Frank Burris, OSU Extension, Curry County
1 p.m. "Baseline monitoring at a basin scale: a decision," Deborah Whitall, hydrologist for the U.S. Forest Service
1:25 "Monitoring Stream Temperature Changes for Riparian Projects on the South Coast," Cindy Ricks Myers, geologist and monitoring coordinator for the Curry County Soil and Water Conservation District
1:50 "Examples for designing monitoring programs," Liz Dent, monitoring specialist with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
2:15 "Design and evaluation of 'fish-friendly' tide gates," Beth Lambert and Guillermo Giannico, both of OSU's Department of Fisheries and Wildlife
3:20 "Monitoring Bacteria in Streams to Demonstrate Project Effectiveness," Karen Williams, volunteer monitoring coordinator with the DEQ
3:45 "Watershed restoration in the Walla Walla Basin: quantity, quality, habitat and efficiency," Bob Bower and Brian Wolcott, the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council
4:00 "Monitoring stream reach temperature changes to demonstrate project effectiveness," Ron Miner, OSU Extension water quality specialist
4:15 "Interactive work session" - Specialists address on-the-ground situations to help interested persons design effective, cost-efficient monitoring projects. Participants are invited to bring maps, project descriptions, data and questions so specialists can provide them with specific advice.
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Ron Miner, 541-737-6295