Deschutes Water Quality

Monitoring Water Quality

Our dedicated team of researchers and biologists monitor water quality closely and communicate the results with local, state and federal agencies and organizations on a regular basis.

Oregon DEQ and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs’ Water Control Board oversee our water quality program at the Pelton Round Butte hydro project. Learn more about one way these two agencies manage our work.

Studying Water Quality

We use the best science available to monitor a number of sites year-round throughout the watershed, from Lake Billy Chinook and its tributaries down to the mouth of the Lower Deschutes. This includes:

  • Continuous temperature logging
  • Dissolved oxygen, pH, and conductivity measurements
  • Monthly and annual water quality findings reports

See our Deschutes River Water Quality Fact Sheet for more information.

Latest Research

In February 2015, we kicked off an extensive multi-year water quality study to learn more about the Lower Deschutes River, the reservoirs and the river’s major tributaries – the Metolius, Upper Deschutes and Crooked Rivers.

  • First two years: researchers collected a variety of water and algae samples to assess the current conditions in the lower Deschutes River, project reservoirs and tributaries.
  • Third year: analyze the data collected to better understand the river’s condition and the effect of various factors, such as flow rates and climate change.

Unfortunately, one of the consultants working on the water quality study is experiencing a medical issue. This has caused a delay in the study’s completion and release. We anticipate that the study will be made available in summer 2019.

To access our latest released reports on water quality, visit our Fact Sheets & Studies page.