does anyone know a way around some of these localwater restrictions in southern oregon…. we have to have an 'ok' from the pope to put in a pond then is must be drained in the spring,,,,,, well w/ the wet winters here having a pond over winter & then (having really dry summers) having to drain it in the spring seems counter productive (& stupid)!!!
If you haven't already, you might consider finding a real person to talk to about what exactly the water restrictions are about. I know WA but not OR. It might be that your water restriction is about maintaining in-stream flow in summer to support fish habitat, excacerbated by excess existing water rights, and forest clearing. Many folks would like to take the headwater of a fish bearing stream, dam it, and then in summer time, their irrigation withdrawal basically intercepts the streamflow and takes their land out of the watershed hydrology. The cumulative effect when lots of people do this, combined with forest clearing, which is also popular, is that more streams become seasonal, and you don't have rearing habitat for coho or steelhead, downstream stream structure changes, and the whole is impoverished. If this is the case, creating water cachment and percolating storm water (that would otherwise be percolated by forest) when you are outside the stream network may actually improve in-stream flow, while allowing you some additional summer water (perhaps that 50% or so that would ordinarily be intercepted by our coniferous forest canopy. By combining water harvesting with ponds you can improve the hydrologic function of your land. The trick is having a real person inside the governmental system to talk with, and listening carefully, and doing your homework about how your action is actually affecting our common hydrologic system compared to the historical function of your land, so that you are doing your part for the whole, while also meeting your needs. If you do this, and OR State still doesn't help you out - then raise hell with your elected officials, and you'll be supporting social progress. Gov't these days has precious little resource to help creative people... In my opinion, most citizens just want to take from the commons without any return (violating principle 3).
Paul Cereghino- Stewardship Institute Maritime Temperate Coniferous Rainforest - Mild Wet Winter, Dry Summer