History of the Rogue Valley
The discovery of gold brought pioneers to the Rogue Valley during the 1850s, but it was agriculture that prompted settlement in the area. As the agriculture industry grew during the late 19th century, so did the need for irrigated water to supplement rainfall. In the early to mid 20th century, the federal government commissioned studies of regional water supply needs and local irrigation districts were formed to manage water distribution for agricultural purposes. Irrigation needs continue to grow in the Valley, but the aging water supply infrastructure has not kept up with demands. The WISE Project has been developed in part to address the need to modernize the time worn infrastructure.
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