We have a limited water supply and lots of different people that want it.
Panel members at this month's City Club of Central Oregon meeting Thursday agreed farmers, homeowners, governments and environmentalists have to find a way to better allocate our water.
Bend City Councilor Mark Capell says it's the only way it's going to work. Court battles are a lose-lose.
"The agricultural people need the water and they have the rights. But we need to be more efficient, put water in the river and supply drinking water. We have to get the money to fix the system. We have to keep supporting the irrigation districts to get the work done. That's what the city is doing, working with the irrigation district to make them more efficient, so we can all come out ahead."
Tod Heisler with the Deschutes River Conservancy talked about why they support piping canals to conserve water. These canals see a lot of water evaporate or leak out.
"It's a societal trade off for those who live along the canal. I knew when I took this job ten years ago, I'd never be able to convince people along the canals it's a good idea to pipe the canals. These canals have 50 percent leakage and piping is more efficient and there's a fair number of them that need to be done."
The panel agreed the different water users need to collaborate more and look for efficiencies to better allocate our limited water supply.