Deschutes Brewery has made a one billion gallon annual water restoration commitment through one of its local non-profit organizations, the Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC). This donation marks the DRC water leasing programâ€™s largest private donation to date, and equals 14 times more water than Deschutes Brewery and all of its suppliers use per year.
Through the water leasing program, local farmers are paid for the lease of their irrigation water and then that water is legally protected instream at the breweryâ€™s namesake waterway â€“ the Deschutes River. By doing this, stream flow and water quality is increased in the river, creating opportunities for life to flourish.
“Weâ€™ve always been avid supporters of the DRC and its mission,” said Michael LaLonde, chief operating officer for Deschutes Brewery and a board member of the DRC. “By creating this new partnership, we are able to give back to the river in a significant way, preserving the lifeblood of the Central Oregon region.”
In the spring and summer, water flows are greatly decreased in the river due to irrigation withdrawals. By increasing flows in the Deschutes River through the leasing program, fish habitat is revitalized and water quality is improved. Other benefits include overall enhanced ecosystems for plants and animals, while also improving recreation and tourism opportunities.