Water for Life was founded in 1990 by farmers and ranchers in Oregon’s Klamath Basin to represent agricultural water users’ concerns in legislative, legal and agency proceedings. As water issues and concerns began gaining more attention, the organization undertook the creation of a pro-agriculture group with the single-minded purpose of defending and promoting agricultural water rights. Their vision was of an organization devoted specifically to agricultural water issues and to approaching them from a producer perspective.¬†Today, Water for Life, Inc. is a growing organization that continues to uphold the founders’ original intentions in fulfilling the role of advocate for the agricultural water user community. Over the years, many committed individuals, businesses and groups have helped Water for Life, Inc. grow into an organization of influence, recognized for its high standards of excellence and professionalism. Our mission remains strongly focused on protecting agricultural water rights as private property rights in the context of environmental stewardship.

Our Members

Water for Life, Inc. is a 501(c)(6) non-profit organization that is funded by dedicated membership of charitable corporate, individual and associate donations. Many, but not all, of our members hold agricultural water rights, and represent a wide spectrum of commodity groups, including beef cattle, dairy cattle, hay, nurseries, potatoes, cranberries, onions, wheat, sheep and others. Members receive our quarterly newsletter and informational updates in addition to effective representation on water issues. Most importantly, our members are playing an active, integral role in protecting their water rights.

Our Work

Water for Life fulfills our mission to promote agricultural water rights in a variety of ways. Specifically, we conduct our work through:

icon-checkADVOCACY: Water for Life acts as a watchdog for agricultural water users. We work closely with agricultural producers and represent their interests during various agency meetings, hearings and workshops. We defend the public interest in legal proceedings and lobby in opposition to policies or legislation that would adversely affect agricultural water-right holders.

icon-checkPROMOTION: Water for Life sponsors and is integral in drafting legislation, administrative rules and policies that benefit and protect the interests of agricultural water right holders.

icon-checkEDUCATION: Water for Life seeks to educate the public and particularly the agricultural community on the development of administrative rules, legislation and policy affecting water right holders. Our staff and directors participate in various meetings, proceedings and events to inform people of the important role irrigated agriculture plays in the community and our economy as a whole.

Guiding Principles

  1. Promote the public interest through good stewardship of water resources for the production of food and fiber.
  2. Support American irrigated agriculture as beneficial to national security.
  3. Protect agricultural water rights.
  4. Protect and value water rights as private property rights.
  5. Oppose the taking of private property without just compensation.
  6. Uphold the doctrine of Prior Appropriation.
  7. Promote responsible management of watersheds.
  8. Achieve quality results through consistent, honest forthrightness.
  9. Respectfully listen to divergent opinions, but never compromise our principles.
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