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Bend Under Fire For Its Water Use


Bend is under fire for the way the city manages its water supply. The advocacy group WaterWatch has filed a complaint with the state Water Resources Department alleging that Bend is illegally diverting more water from a local creek than it actually uses.


Every day, the city of Bend draws millions of gallons of water from Bridge Creek.

In a complaint filed with the state WaterWatch says Bend takes more than it needs and diverts the rest into Tumalo Creek. 

John DeVoe is WaterWatch’s Executive Director.

John DeVoe: “There’s a principle in Oregon water law and across the West that you’re allowed to beneficially use water but you have to do it without waste.  And to simply take water out of a stream move it somewhere else and then dump it back in, in our view constitutes waste.”

Justin Finestone is Bend’s Communications Manager. He says the city’s attorneys are reviewing the complaint and will have a more detailed response next week. 

In the meantime he says the city will continue operating the water system as it has for decades.