I recently learned that Oregon has more miles of polluted or “impaired” waterways than any other state. It has been over 50 years since I really understood that the earth has a finite amount of water, and that water can be polluted beyond repair.

This is not the Oregon that I think of when I envision our green and vibrant state — so full of the outdoor activities and beautiful nature that make our home so special. Luckily, we aren’t “beyond repair” yet — we have a chance to repair our water supply, starting with factory farms.

Claire Gates is a resident of Southeast Portland.

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