Safeguard the Watershed

Crystal Springs

Water is a precious resource. There are two fundamental areas of concern: protecting the purity of the water resource, and ensuring the availability of water for water district users.

Crystal Springs Watershed provides 25% of residentsí drinking water of residentsí drinking water. Water is provided by the underlying aquifer; this aquifer is shallow, is highly permeable to the vertical movement of water, and is unconfined, meaning it is not protected by an impervious layer of material above it.

Large areas of the Crystal Springs contribution area would be impacted by proposed commercial development. The nature of the aquifer means that whatever runs across the surface of the land will not have a barrier to protect the underlying water. Runoff from paved areas, herbicides and pesticides used to maintain a golf course and other resort features will contribute to the water supply. (See the Comprehensive Map to view the Crystal Springs Watershed (PDF or WORD).

Watershed protection is of the highest importance in both the state and country comprehensive land use plans. When the county comprehensive plan was adopted in 1984, precise boundaries for this watershed were not specified, but were to be delineated at a later date. However, boundaries were drawn by the Oregon Department of Health, are legally significant, have been recently re-confirmed and are unlikely to change (Bob Duddles, Superintendent of the Crystal Springs Water District, Hood River News, Letter to the Editor, June 25, 2003).

Further, while the country is required under watershed protection goals to exclude a minimum amount of land which underlies this aquifer, it has the discretion to exclude additional land in order to further buffer and protect this resource.

Additionally, the quantity of water required to support a 4-season resort is problematic. While the amount of water may fluctuate from year to year, there is a finite limit to the quantity of water available for use at any one time.

updated: 12/2010

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