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Oregon Water Resources Department Hires Three Watermasters, two in Newly Created Districts

SALEM, ORE.  – Since the beginning of 2022, Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) hired three new watermasters throughout the state. Two of the positions are in newly created districts in the Crooked River and Walla Walla River basins. The new districts provide greater capacity for water management and enforcement in the two basins. The third new hire fills a vacancy in District 12 in Lake County after long-time watermaster Brian Mayer retired late in 2021 after 31 years of state service.   

Photo of Luke MartinThe newly established District 23 located in Milton-Freewater, covers the entirety of the Walla Walla Basin in Oregon. OWRD selected Luke Martin as the district’s watermaster in February 2022. Martin grew up in southern Oregon where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Geology at Southern Oregon University in 2009. From there, Martin received his master’s degree in Geology from Indiana University. Over the last two years, Martin has worked as the assistant watermaster in Milton-Freewater. Before joining OWRD, Martin worked in Indiana as a geologist and hydrologist throughout the midwestern and southern United States. Martin enjoys working on his farm in the Milton-Freewater area where he lives with his wife and five children.   The District 23 office is located in Milton-Freewater at 707 E Broadway Avenue. Watermaster Luke Martin is available at 541-371-0818 or   
Photo of Bill NashemThe newly established District 24 office in Bend covers the Crooked River Basin. In February 2022, Bill Nashem was selected to serve as the district’s watermaster. Nashem grew up in eastern Washington and Oregon and attended Whitman College where he studied Geology and Economics, earning a BA in Geology in 1994. After teaching field geology in Montana and working with the U.S. Geological Survey in California, he returned to the northwest where he spent 15 years as a consulting engineering geologist in Seattle. In his six years at OWRD, Nashem served as a regional assistant watermaster and well inspector. Nashem is a Licensed Engineering Geologist and Registered Geologist in Oregon, Washington and California. Outside of managing water and wells, Nashem’s passions include fishing, cooking, mountain biking, gardening, and enjoying the outdoors in central Oregon.    The District 24 office is located in Bend at 231 SW Scalehouse Loop, Suite 103. Watermaster Bill Nashem is available at 541-639-4109 or   
Photo of Matt AndersonIn October 2021, the longtime District 12 watermaster, Brian Mayer, retired from the Department. OWRD selected Matthew Anderson to replace Mayer in February 2022. District 12 includes Summer Lake, Chewaucan River, Goose Lake, and Warner Lakes Basin. Anderson grew up in Southern Oregon and graduated from the Oregon Institute of Technology in 2003 with a BS in Civil Engineering. Before joining OWRD in 2013, Anderson worked for a consulting firm for 10 years. Over the last 6 years, Anderson has worked as an assistant watermaster in the Klamath Basin. Outside of water management, Anderson’s interests include motorsports, home improvement projects, camping, and fishing.  The District 12 office is located in Lakeview at 513 Center Street. Matthew can be reached at 541-883-4182 or

Watermasters are a valuable resource as they work to restore and protect streamflows to enhance the long-term sustainability of Oregon’s ecosystems by enforcing water law, administrative rules, and agency policy through localized knowledge of the state’s waterways. Water management affects all Oregonians, whether they divert water directly a water source or enjoy in-stream recreation such as fishing, boating, and hiking along streams and lakes.   

The Oregon Water Resources Department is the state agency charged with studying, allocating, and distributing water in Oregon. Visit  






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