OCF is pleased to announce a new area of investment: pilot grants to support community water solutions in rural Oregon.
The goals of this pilot program are to:
- Empower people to create durable solutions to water issues in Oregon’s rural communities that reflect collaborative agreements among diverse stakeholders.
- Craft local solutions to water quality and quantity issues that influence statewide policy decisions and funding priorities.
In November, 2016, OCF awarded its first grants through this water pilot: $140,000 to nine organizations that submitted innovative proposals. In 2017, grants totaling $100,000 were awarded to six organizations.
Oregon is facing a highly insecure water future, due to a changing climate and a fast growing population. Soon, major policies in the natural resource and environmental areas will focus on water access and availability. Already decision-makers are taking action. For example:
- The Oregon Department of Water Resources received a budget increase of over 50 percent this last biennium for infrastructure and planning.
- The Oregon Legislature established a drought task force.
- The statewide water plan is undergoing revisions.
Rural communities have an opportunity to influence future policies through a shared vision based on local solution-oriented activities. OCF is pleased to support this difficult but necessary work.