The Oregon Water Resources Department is asking Oregonians who rely on wells for their water use to report their dry wells or low producing wells online. Visit the Dry Well webpage at www.oregon.gov/owrd/drywell and click on the link to report your dry well.
Reported information helps the department understand changes in aquifers across the state and how the drought is impacting groundwater supplies and those that rely on groundwater. In addition, the reported information helps state and local agencies to identify where assistance may be needed. The department will utilize the information to understand the scope of people affected and distribute information to affected well owners if any assistance becomes available.
During drought, a combination of factors such as increased groundwater pumping and reduced groundwater recharge can lead to significantly reduced production or no production of water from wells. Regardless of drought conditions, it is important for well owners to use water wisely and conserve groundwater in order to preserve it for future use. Some groundwater reservoirs, called aquifers, only store small quantities of water and require annual rainfall or surface water for recharge, which can lead to annual seasonal water supply challenges. Other aquifers may store greater quantities of water but do not recharge very quickly, which can lead to declining groundwater levels with time.
If you do rely on a domestic well and you are experiencing water supply shortages, it is important to conserve that water for essential household uses such as drinking, bathing, cooking, or sanitation. Practice water conservation both inside and outside of the home and reduce or eliminate all outdoor water use. For more tips on how to use water wisely, visit www.drought.oregon.gov.
If your well does go dry, or you begin to experience water supply shortages due to significantly lower production from the well, see the Water Wells and Drought handout and the Water Well Owner’s Handbook at www.oregon.gov/owrd/drywell.
The Oregon Water Resources Department is the state agency charged with studying, allocating, and distributing water in Oregon. For more information, go to www.oregon.gov/owrd.