Medford, OR – According to the state officials, both counties have portions of extreme drought and are experiencing well below average water year precipitation.
Streamflow has also been well below average in both counties over the water year, with Deschutes at 78% and Grant at 44% of its average streamflow.
Streamflow at their respective basins have been below average, with Deschutes at 71% and John Day at 39%.
Reservoir conditions in the Deschutes Basin are approaching historic lows and soil moisture conditions across surface, root zone and shallow groundwater profiles are extremely dry.
Above average snowpack conditions, 117% in Deschutes and 154% in John Day, will provide limited relief to drought conditions in some parts of each county.
The drought declaration by Governor Kotek unlocks a number of drought-related emergency tools for water users, including assistance to local water users.
Drought declarations also allow the Water Resources Department to expedite review processes and reduce fee schedules.