| Safeguard the Watershed |
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
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