Deschutes Brewery Pledges One Billion Gallons of Water to its Namesake: The Deschutes River

By Marie Melsheimer

Deschutes Brewery partners with the Deschutes River Conservancy to provide largest private donation to water leasing program

Bend, Oregon–Good water and good beer go hand in hand, right? That’s one reason why Deschutes Brewery has recently 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 program’s largest private donation to date, and actually 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 brewery’s namesake waterway—the Deschutes River. By doing this, stream flow and water quality is increased in the river, creating opportunities for life to flourish.

“We’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.”

Over the past six years, the brewery has supported the DRC through both monetary and beer donations for the non-profit’s various fundraising events.

Tod Heisler, executive director for the DRC, said, “By making this commitment to the river, Deschutes Brewery has made a strong investment in the future of our region. Water is one of Central Oregon’s primary resources and partnerships like this ensure the consistency and sustainability of our mission to restore water to our river.”

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.

About the Deschutes River Conservancy (DRC)

The DRC is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that was founded by the Environmental Defense Fund, the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation and local irrigation districts. In the past sixteen years, the DRC has built a strong foundation for collaborative work in the Deschutes Basin. The organization’s mission is to restore streamflow and improve water quality in the Deschutes Basin. The DRC objectives are to meet or exceed state water quality standards and to restore the natural hydrograph to the extent environmentally, socially and economically feasible in the Deschutes River and its tributaries. The Deschutes River Conservancy is a nationally recognized leader in river restoration and has set the bar for achieving results through collaboration. www.deschutesriver.org

About Deschutes Brewery

Located in beautiful Bend, Oregon, Deschutes Brewery is in the business of daring people to expect more from their beer. That’s why we started off in 1988, on the banks of the Deschutes River here in Bend, Oregon, by selling Black Butte Porter at a time when others were sure a dark beer would never catch on. Our brewers love to push the envelope, especially if it makes someone nervous.  But for us, the highest praise is a raised glass and a toast of “Bravely Done!”  For more information about Deschutes Brewery and our courageously crafted beers, please visit www.DeschutesBrewery.com.

Contact Info

Company: Deschutes Brewery
Contact: Marie Melsheimer
E-mail: marie@campbellconsulting.com