|Map of watersheds serving Medford Water Commission|
The Medford Water Commission (Commission) has worked diligently to maximize the existing water resources available to the City of Medford. Since its inception in 1926, the Commission has developed and maintained comprehensive plans that outline current and future water needs and resources, with a focus on watershed management.
A watershed is an area of land within which all rainfall and snowmelt reach a common body of water, whether flowing overland or underground. Surface waters include rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. Groundwater, which is transmitted and stored beneath the land surface, may emerge in the form of springs or aquifers. Watersheds are very important because the way the land is used affects the quality and quantity of water it produces.
Two different watersheds supply drinking water to around 136,000 Commission customers. They are the Big Butte Springs Watershed, a groundwater source, and the Rogue River Watershed, a surface water source. The Big Butte Springs Watershed is actually a smaller watershed within the Rogue River Watershed, as shown on the Watershed map.
The Commission has long-recognized the importance of watershed management as a valuable tool for protecting our most valuable resource, our water. The goals of the Watershed Management Program are: source protection and water quality, compliance with State and Federal drinking water regulations, and increased public awareness of the water sources.