Central Oregon Continues To Face Extreme Drought
Central Oregon’s Crook County remains the only place in the western United States under a D-4, or Exceptional Drought, designation. And again, county leaders have asked for a state drought declaration. County Judge Seth Crawford says he’s also talked with the Governor about funding a biomass plant that would use juniper trees to create power, but more studies are needed.
“Then we can go to different industries and municipalities and sell this as green energy to them. And so, we’re about $2 million short on that. And that’s what the ask for the Governor was, and that was part of our drought declaration, as well, because I know the Legislature is working on funding four droughts throughout eastern Oregon.”
Crawford added that junipers consume up to 30 gallons of water a day, pulling from streams and other water sources.
"This is an opportunity to not only work on wildfire and a lot of those things, but to recharge the system and put more water back into it. Once we get those dollars, and once we have that plan, we do have the private sector ready to build the facilities and move forward, once we have the general idea of the cost and we have someone on board to purchase that power.”
Currently, 45% of Crook County is under an Exceptional Drought, with the remaining 6% under a D-3, or Extreme Drought.
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