Richard A. Bastasch was born in Portland, Oregon, on April 19, 1954. He was educated at Oregon State University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Earth Science and a Master's degree in Geography. Bastasch has worked with the Oregon Water Resources Department in strategic planning, river basin planning, public information, intergovernmental coordination, and legislative analysis. He wrote the definitive book on Oregon's water supply in Water Resources of Oregon: A Source Book on Oregon's Water and Water Management. Bastasch describes where the water in Oregon comes from, examines the region's diminishing water supply, and points out the impact this has on people, the environment, and the economy. An environmental consultant, Bastasch is interim director of the Willamette Restoration Initiative, which is an effort to coordinate existing and new strategies to recover the health of the Willamette Valley watershed. He has worked with the U.S. Forest Service and has spent twelve years with the State Water Resources Department. Bastasch makes his home in Salem, Oregon.