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Mon Dec 5, 2016, 04:11 AM

Gov. Brown asks to expand groundwater studies following Oregonian investigation

Gov. Kate Brown's recommended budget includes money for a new team of researchers to study underground water sources in Oregon.

If approved, the additional $1.8 million requested for the study means the state would effectively double its capacity to perform groundwater research, adding a second team of people to review the resource every five years.

The governor's recommendation, released Thursday, comes after a yearlong investigation by The Oregonian/OregonLive in August detailed longstanding issues surrounding how the state manages permits given to farmers to tap into aquifers. The state has overseen an explosion of wells in recent decades with little research on how much water is available in the subterranean network that crisscrosses the state.

"Some groundwater aquifers in Oregon are no longer capable of sustaining additional development and drought conditions that have been affecting parts of the state for several years are likely to continue to occur more frequently than in the past," the governor's budget said. "This makes understanding the capacity of water basins to support current and proposed uses increasingly important."

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2016/12/gov_kate_brown_asks_to_expand.html

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