History

The Oregon Water Resources Congress (OWRC), incorporated in 1912, represents local governments throughout Oregon that provide irrigation water. These entities and the thousands of water users they supply embody the associations founding principles to promote the development, control, conservation, preservation and utilization of land and water resources of the State of Oregon.

The “Congress” is an association of local governments, a 501(c)6 non-profit trade association originally incorporated in Oregon in 1912. The original association was entitled the Oregon Irrigation Congress, but was broadened to become the Oregon Reclamation Congress when it was joined by the Oregon Drainage Association. Later, the Oregon Association of Soil Conservation Districts joined with the Reclamation Congress. Through the years other forms of water districts and local governments joined with these water suppliers so that the membership now includes a number of ports, cities, counties, drainage, irrigation, water control and water improvement districts, along with associations of water users. The name of the association was changed once again on October 27, 1970 to the Oregon Water Resources Congress to embody the full range of local government membership it represents.

OWRC identifies issues of concern to the membership on an immediate basis through the association’s web site and email listserve. The association represents its members’ interests in Oregon before the legislature, promoting legislative changes to meet the members’ needs; supporting positions at natural resource agency hearings and rulemakings; and participating in other forums where water issues are the agenda.

For over 100 years OWRC has represented its members’ interests before the Oregon Legislature and nationally before Congress promoting legislation to meet members’ needs.