- Eye on Media
Commissioners met with the county resource attorney, Ron Yokim, and the district water master, Mitch Lewis, in a work session today to explore the merits of water mitigation banking. Former commissioner Cam Parry first raised the concept of water banking during his interim term as a means of generating revenue for the county. Parry, once charged with overuse of “the if and the extreme” is well known for employing hyperbole in his daily speech. The county water right embodied in the Johnson Mill Pond has been described by Parry as the “second largest water right on the west coast”, then later modified to the second largest in Oregon, then Southern Oregon and finally as “substantial”.
The water right in question encompasses 491 acre feet of water annually, about 10,000th of the annual demand in an area with three times more water than demand. Consequently, commissioners John Sweet and Melissa Cribbins agreed the revenue potential was unclear but determined that taking steps to secure the water right for future use was worth doing with an eye to exploring further “banking” possibilities.