Due to high water tables in southern Deschutes County, nitrates (leaked from septic systems and other sources) have been found in some of the groundwater in the area. In an effort to address this problem, the County approved a blanket proposal to allow sewer systems to be built in a 200 square mile area without regard to need or impact on existing residents (more info here).
LandWatch argued against the County’s proposal at the Land Use Board of Appeals because it is a one-size-fits-all solution that may make any problem worse. We recently got the news that LUBA agreed with LandWatch's position that this exception would be too broad. It has been remanded back to the County.
We believe solutions will come from scientifically identifying where any specific problems are and providing needed funding to fix them, and we are partnering with Oregon State University to fund related research.