State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008OR99B
Title: An exploration of groundwater rights and community-based action in Umatilla County
Project Type: Education
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: 5th
Focus Categories: Agriculture, Conservation, Economics
Keywords: documentary, groundwater, communication,
Principal Investigator: Lewis, Jon
Federal Funds: $ 14,442
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 28,964
Abstract: The Umatilla Basin (Oregon) shares a deep basalt aquifer with Washington and Oregon. The groundwater in this region has declined between 400 and 500 feet and the area has been designated as "critical" causing a suspension of additional wells except those needed for drinking water and irrigation (Oregon Water Resources Department 2003). Limited federal, state, and tribal funding for water resources planning prompted a community-based approach to groundwater management. A Task Force was formed to explore new approaches for managing the sustainability of groundwater and surface >water resources. The Task Force is a real life example of a community using similar approaches to the collaborative learning process and conflict management. This grant proposal is to make a documentary film that has been requested by the Outreach Subcommittee for Umatilla County. The film will examine the issues of water that are unique to the basin, and the communication process of the community. Water issues are by far not unique to the basin and it is important to take a close examination of communication process and perspectives. As filmmaker to the project, I am concerned with the ethical consideration of the relationship between the filmmaker to the subject. It is the intention of the film to provide the community with a documentation of the collaborative learning process that is reflective, fair and balanced.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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