Water Action Community seek pubic input

More than 200 people — including Indigenous wisdom keepers, expert panelists from across the state of Oregon, and concerned citizens — came together last fall during a six-part Water Solutions Summit to explore potential actions to promote efficient and beneficial use of the Rogue Valley’s water. Now, cohorts are launching a year of actions based on ideas that arose over the course of those summit conversations.
Southern Oregon Pachamama Alliance (SOPA), which hosted the fall summit, is partnering with Water League in the Water Action Community – 2023 Launch from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 4, in the large meeting room at the Medford Library, 205 S. Central Ave. The event is free and open to everyone.
Water League, which engages the public in water stewardship, is collaborating with SOPA to support the next steps that individuals and action groups can take to make a difference in the Rogue Basin. These cohorts believe their missions are critical to the health and well-being of the Valley’s water. The frame for Feb. 4 will include, as did the fall summit, an examination of “What is” and “What could be.” While the cohorts are expected to evolve over time in keeping with the interests and passions of participants, currently they are titled: “Rights of Nature, Indigenous Perspectives, and the Public Trust Doctrine”;
“Funding, Legislation, Water Rights, and Water Law”; “Equity for Aquifers, Agriculture, Wetlands and Waterways”; and
“ Water Equity for Domestic, Industrial, and Commercial Uses.”
During the Water Action Community – 2023 Launch, folks can sign up for one or more cohorts they’d like to join and then enter a breakout session during which each team will: 1) Plan its regular meeting schedule; 2) begin formulating its mission (what it wants to accomplish); and 3) brainstorm goals to achieve in 2023 .
At subsequent meetings, members will identify concrete, measurable objectives for each goal and begin the work to realize them throughout the year. Each team will have a couple leaders, a scribe, and any other positions that members would like to establish. Members may invite new people to join in at any time and members can hop off as well.
Water League will provide the overall support and organization for the four teams and will be available to attend all team meetings to keep a central hub connection, hear needs and suggestions, and report on related actions of other teams.
The cohorts seek:
● Greater community ties based on our relationship with water and a better understanding of the Rights of Nature;
● Understanding and adoption of traditional ecological knowledge, and to support water sovereignty for Indigenous Peoples;
● Better communication between the community and their decision makers;
● Actions that result in greater beneficial uses of water and actions that increase water quality;
● Protections for water sources such as groundwater, aquifers, headwaters, surface waters, wetlands, springs, lakes, and ponds by use of the Public Trust Doctrine, changes in rules and
statutes, implementation of conservation best practices, and enforcement of existing water laws; and
● To identify the public interest in all its diversity as it pertains to water with an eye to the public and environmental health, welfare, and safety.
If you have questions you can call Christopher Hall at 541-415-8010. You can also see the event invitation on Facebook: https://fb.me/e/2efsdgmZb.