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MILTON-FREEWATER — The Oregon Water Resources Department announced the hiring of three watermasters, including for a newly created district in Milton-Freewater.

Luke Martin will head the new District 23, a sector that will serve the entire Oregon side of the Walla Walla Basin. As watermaster, he will maintain the sustainability of Oregon’s ecosystem by protecting local waterways’ water laws, rules and policies.

“As watermaster, I’ll be trying to ensure that all the requirements are being met,” Martin said, “and hopefully, in that same vein, I can help people with water use.”

The state hired Martin in February. He holds a degree in geology from Southern Oregon University before receiving his master’s from Indiana University. After working in the industry in Indiana for several years, Martin spent his last two with the OWRD as an assistant watermaster, working under Greg Silbernagel in Pendleton’s District 5.

State water resources created the new district to provide greater capacity for water management and enforcement in the Walla Walla Basin.

Along with Martin, two additional watermasters joined OWRD in February. Bill Nashem is in another new position in Bend, serving the Crooked River Basin, while Matthew Anderson takes over the District 12 office in Lakeview.

Original Article: Source