In the Western United States, we need to pay attention to water.
As the persistent drought goes on, we need to make sure counties and municipalities are developing in a way that ensures adequate water quantity and quality into the future. This is why I urge people in Oregon to contact Gov. Brown and tell her not to allow the development of mega-dairies.
Right now Oregon is considering a permit application for a new, nearly 30,000-cow mega-dairy in Eastern Oregon. It is estimated that the facility, the Easterday Dairy, would use the same amount of water as the entire city of Bend while bringing a host of public health threats to nearby communities. Mega-dairies cause pollution, especially to groundwater, and tend to impact poor and rural communities most.
Alongside the water pollution, mega-dairies have squeezed regenerative family dairy farmers out of business. In 1992, Oregon had 1,900 dairy farms, many of them small and midsized. Today, only 228 remain. Independent, family-scale dairy farms allow cows to graze on pasture, and do not maintain dangerous quantities of liquid waste that often ends up in our waterways.
Between the escalating climate crisis driving our current drought, and consistent threats to water quality, we cannot afford to waste our precious water resources. Make your voice heard as a concerned citizen by calling 877-591-6399 and urging Gov. Brown to deny the Easterday permit application because of its threat to our water supply, the local communities and small farmers.