The Oregon Board of Agriculture June 25 voted to delay weighing in on Oregon's proposed Integrated Water Resources Strategy so board members have more time to review it.

The board in a conference call voted to take up the issue again and submit comments to the Oregon Water Resources Commission prior to July 15.

Phil Ward, director of the Oregon Water Resources Department, said the board's input is vital.

"Ultimately, our commission is looking to the other three primary partner commissions -- the Board of Agriculture, the Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Environmental Quality Commission -- as the key teams in terms of moving this thing forward," Ward said.

"Even though those boards and commissions don't have the same responsibility for adoption that the Water Resources Commission does, I think our commission views this effort as a partnership between those four groups," Ward said.

The other "primary partner commissions" have endorsed the strategy, Ward said.

"I know (the Water Resources Commission) is very interested in having the board's endorsement of the product," Ward said.

"We continue to think there is strong benefit for agriculture as an industry in what is in this strategy," Ward said.

--Mitch Lies

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