Founded in 2013, the Northeast Oregon Water Association (NOWA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation. The organization is directed towards improving business conditions for sustainable irrigated agriculture, as well as municipal and industrial water use. A seven-member board of directors governs the organization, while day-to-day operations are handled by director and founder J.R. Cook. The association is supported with membership contributions and donations from municipalities and other entities dedicated to improving local communities through economic development. NOWA is actively involved in efforts to fund infrastructure to reach Critical Groundwater Areas and develop a basalt banking program for the region. 


J.R. Cook is the founder and director of NOWA. Prior to fouding NOWA, Cook served as the Umatilla Basin Water Commission Executive Director, City Manager of the City of Umatilla, and Assistant Planner for Umatilla County. He has over a decade of experience in water policy and an extensive knowledge of economic and natural resources issues in Eastern Oregon. 

board of directors

Craig Reeder

Carl St. Hilaire | JSH Farms

Gary Neal | General Manager, Port of Morrow

Gibb Evans | Vice President, IRZ Consulting

Greg Harris | Threemile Canyon Farms

Jake Madison | President, Madison Ranches LLC

Skeeter Amstad | Amstad Farms