DEVELOPING AND PROTECTING AGRICULTURAL WATER RIGHTS   Presented by  STEVEN L. SHROPSHIRE
Presentation Overview <ul><li>Oregon Water Law Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural Water Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Obta...
“… all water within the state from all sources of water supply belongs to the public…”  ORS  537.110
Oregon Water Law Four Fundamental Principles
Four Principles <ul><li>1. Priority—First in time, first in right </li></ul><ul><li>2. Beneficial Use </li></ul><ul><li>3....
First Principle--Priority <ul><li>The right to use water is awarded to whomever was first to divert it from the natural co...
Second Principle: <ul><li>“Beneficial use is the basis, measure and limit of all rights to the use of water.” </li></ul><u...
Valid to Extent of Beneficial Purpose—No Waste
Third Principle <ul><li>Water right is appurtenant to the land where perfected </li></ul>
Fourth Principle <ul><li>“Use It or Lose It”  </li></ul><ul><li>2 Ways to Lose  </li></ul><ul><li>Water Rights </li></ul><...
Agricultural Water Rights
Types of Water Authorization <ul><li>Water right permit </li></ul><ul><li>Water right certificate </li></ul><ul><li>Decree...
Exempt Groundwater Uses <ul><li>Domestic lawn and garden < ½ acre </li></ul><ul><li>Domestic consumption of less than 15,0...
Irrigation <ul><li>“ Artificial application of water to plants by controlled means to promote growth or nourishment” </li>...
Nursery Operations <ul><li>Water for operation of a commercial nursery </li></ul><ul><li>May include irrigation of: </li><...
Nursery Operations (Cont.) <ul><li>Year-round irrigation of nursery stock </li></ul><ul><li>1/40 cfs (11.2 gpm) and 5.0 ac...
Nursery Operations (Cont.) <ul><li>Nursery on top of Irrigation rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary Nursery and Primary I...
Primary and Supplemental Rights <ul><li>Primary rights used first </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental used to make up deficienc...
Storage Rights <ul><li>Primary Right to Store </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary Right to Use </li></ul>
Off-Season Diversions and/or Storage <ul><li>Non-irrigation season, aka “shoulder season” water </li></ul><ul><li>WRD “sys...
Obtaining New Water Rights
Getting  More Water What if you don’t have water rights or you have some but not all you need? 1. The Department regulates...
Obtaining A New  Surface or Groundwater Permit <ul><li>Application/Permit </li></ul><ul><li>Construction/Application </li>...
 
Water  availability … <ul><li>Is it over appropriated? </li></ul>
Water Availability Examples <ul><li>Surface Water Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In most areas, summer use is no longe...
Water Availability Map
Water Availability Examples <ul><li>Ground Water Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A few areas are limited and no additio...
Groundwater   Restrictions <ul><li>Hydraulic Connection to Surface Water </li></ul><ul><li>Basin Classifications (Groundwa...
 
 
 
Common  Water  Rights Application Issues <ul><li>Surface/Ground Water Interference  (OAR 690-09, Div. 9) </li></ul><ul><li...
Surface/Ground   Water   Interference <ul><li>Most common reason for denial of new GW applications:  the dreaded “Potentia...
Surface/Ground Water Interference (Cont.) <ul><li>Avoid well locations < ¼ mile from stream </li></ul><ul><li>Other criter...
Well Construction Requirements <ul><li>Sometimes as special conditions in permit </li></ul><ul><li>Noncompliance can inval...
Other Permit Conditions <ul><li>Other conditions may include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Installation of measuring device (SW, ...
Public Interest Review <ul><li>Proposed use must not be to the detriment of the public interest </li></ul>
Transfers <ul><li>Point of diversion (appropriation) </li></ul><ul><li>Type of use </li></ul><ul><li>Place of use </li></u...
Transactional Due Diligence Issues
Reliability and Availability --  Latent Problems <ul><li>Outside influences affecting availability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Reliability and Availability --  Legal Constraints on Availability <ul><li>Terms of the water right </li></ul><ul><ul><li>...
Shared Facilities <ul><li>Is water availability dependent upon delivery through shared facilities? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>W...
Shared Facilities <ul><li>Issues of Concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easements, ...
Shared Facility Agreements <ul><li>Well/pipeline sharing agreements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
Working with WRD
Oregon Water Administration <ul><li>Oregon Water Resources Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seven Member Citizen Commissio...
Department Overview <ul><li>146 Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Headquarters in Salem </li></ul><ul><li>5 Divisions </li></ul><ul>...
Water Right Section Make-Up Doing What? Staff  Water Right Application Caseworkers 5 Extension Processing 3* Certificates/...
Water Rights Process <ul><li>New  Application  Filed (Priority Date!) </li></ul><ul><li>If  Permit  is issued, pay attenti...
Processing Secrets Application Acceptance Minimum Review Checklists Deficiency Letter Caseworker assignment Fiscal Section...
How long does it take? (To get a water right permit.) <ul><li>It depends on a lot of things </li></ul><ul><li>180 days (al...
Workload Issues <ul><li>Backlogs and Filing Rates </li></ul><ul><li>Extensions - up to date within a few months </li></ul>...
Regulation <ul><li>Some of Oregon’s river basins are regulated to satisfy prior rights every year. </li></ul><ul><li>Other...
Questions Anyone?
Thank you for attending.
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Oregon Agricultural Water Law

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September 28, 2009 presentation at Oregon Association of Nurseries annual conference

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  • “ Water is available” requires us to determine whether the resource is over appropriated To do that we analyze water level data from the area in question Here is a hydrograph from Victor Point Withdrawal area
  • Oregon Agricultural Water Law

    1. 1. DEVELOPING AND PROTECTING AGRICULTURAL WATER RIGHTS Presented by STEVEN L. SHROPSHIRE
    2. 2. Presentation Overview <ul><li>Oregon Water Law Overview </li></ul><ul><li>Agricultural Water Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining New Water Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Transactional Due Diligence </li></ul><ul><li>Working with the Water Resources Department </li></ul>
    3. 3. “… all water within the state from all sources of water supply belongs to the public…” ORS 537.110
    4. 4. Oregon Water Law Four Fundamental Principles
    5. 5. Four Principles <ul><li>1. Priority—First in time, first in right </li></ul><ul><li>2. Beneficial Use </li></ul><ul><li>3. Appurtenance </li></ul><ul><li>4. Use It or Lose It </li></ul>
    6. 6. First Principle--Priority <ul><li>The right to use water is awarded to whomever was first to divert it from the natural course </li></ul>“ First in time, first in right”
    7. 7. Second Principle: <ul><li>“Beneficial use is the basis, measure and limit of all rights to the use of water.” </li></ul><ul><li>ORS 540.610(1) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Valid to Extent of Beneficial Purpose—No Waste
    9. 9. Third Principle <ul><li>Water right is appurtenant to the land where perfected </li></ul>
    10. 10. Fourth Principle <ul><li>“Use It or Lose It” </li></ul><ul><li>2 Ways to Lose </li></ul><ul><li>Water Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Abandonment </li></ul><ul><li>Forfeiture </li></ul>
    11. 11. Agricultural Water Rights
    12. 12. Types of Water Authorization <ul><li>Water right permit </li></ul><ul><li>Water right certificate </li></ul><ul><li>Decreed rights </li></ul><ul><li>Registrations </li></ul><ul><li>Limited licenses </li></ul><ul><li>Exempt uses </li></ul>
    13. 13. Exempt Groundwater Uses <ul><li>Domestic lawn and garden < ½ acre </li></ul><ul><li>Domestic consumption of less than 15,000 gallons per day </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial or industrial use of less than 5,000 gallons per day </li></ul><ul><li>Stockwatering </li></ul>
    14. 14. Irrigation <ul><li>“ Artificial application of water to plants by controlled means to promote growth or nourishment” </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watering of an Ag crop, commercial garden, tree farm, orchard, park, golf course, playing field, or vineyard </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other uses such as alkali abatement may apply if necessary for promoting growth </li></ul><ul><li>Irrigation season is typically from March 1 to October 31 </li></ul>
    15. 15. Nursery Operations <ul><li>Water for operation of a commercial nursery </li></ul><ul><li>May include irrigation of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In-ground stock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Containerized stock </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greenhouse stock </li></ul></ul><ul><li>May also include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Temperature control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soil preparation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Application of chemicals or fertilizers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other uses for construction, O&M of nursery facilities </li></ul>
    16. 16. Nursery Operations (Cont.) <ul><li>Year-round irrigation of nursery stock </li></ul><ul><li>1/40 cfs (11.2 gpm) and 5.0 acre-feet per acre for containers and greenhouse </li></ul><ul><li>1/80 cfs (5.6 gpm) and 2.5 acre-feet per acre for in-ground </li></ul><ul><li>0.15 cfs (67.3 gpm) per acre for temperature control </li></ul>
    17. 17. Nursery Operations (Cont.) <ul><li>Nursery on top of Irrigation rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primary Nursery and Primary Irrigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nursery takes over where Irrigation leaves off </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total use must not exceed Nursery rates </li></ul></ul>
    18. 18. Primary and Supplemental Rights <ul><li>Primary rights used first </li></ul><ul><li>Supplemental used to make up deficiency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deficiency in rate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Deficiency in supply </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Supplemental from different source </li></ul>
    19. 19. Storage Rights <ul><li>Primary Right to Store </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary Right to Use </li></ul>
    20. 20. Off-Season Diversions and/or Storage <ul><li>Non-irrigation season, aka “shoulder season” water </li></ul><ul><li>WRD “system bulge” policy </li></ul><ul><li>Winter storage rights </li></ul><ul><li>But peak flow analysis may limit availability </li></ul>
    21. 21. Obtaining New Water Rights
    22. 22. Getting More Water What if you don’t have water rights or you have some but not all you need? 1. The Department regulates on primarily a complaint based system so it could be a while before they find out you have a problem. 2. The longer you wait to begin fixing the problem, the harder it will be to get the water rights you need. 3. Self-report and make application to rectify the problem. 4. Ask the Department for help in identifying solutions. 5. It can be very complicated. Get help from WRD and/or hire a consultant to help you.
    23. 23. Obtaining A New Surface or Groundwater Permit <ul><li>Application/Permit </li></ul><ul><li>Construction/Application </li></ul><ul><li>Perfection/Final Proof </li></ul>
    24. 25. Water availability … <ul><li>Is it over appropriated? </li></ul>
    25. 26. Water Availability Examples <ul><li>Surface Water Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In most areas, summer use is no longer available. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In most areas, winter storage for use later in the summer, is available. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>However, peak flow analysis by ODFW is now making even winter water difficult to obtain </li></ul></ul></ul>
    26. 27. Water Availability Map
    27. 28. Water Availability Examples <ul><li>Ground Water Availability </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A few areas are limited and no additional irrigation can be allowed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There is a growing number of areas where WRD can no longer find that additional ground water is available for new uses. (Willamette Valley) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The biggest hurdle for a new GW application is whether or not there is the Potential for Substantial Interference (PSI) with a nearby surface water source. (look at SW issues) </li></ul></ul>
    28. 29. Groundwater Restrictions <ul><li>Hydraulic Connection to Surface Water </li></ul><ul><li>Basin Classifications (Groundwater Limited) </li></ul><ul><li>Withdrawals </li></ul><ul><li>Critical Groundwater Areas </li></ul><ul><li>Limited Groundwater Areas </li></ul><ul><li>Groundwater Study Areas </li></ul>
    29. 33. Common Water Rights Application Issues <ul><li>Surface/Ground Water Interference (OAR 690-09, Div. 9) </li></ul><ul><li>Well Construction Requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Permit Conditions </li></ul>
    30. 34. Surface/Ground Water Interference <ul><li>Most common reason for denial of new GW applications: the dreaded “Potential for Substantial Interference (PSI)” </li></ul>
    31. 35. Surface/Ground Water Interference (Cont.) <ul><li>Avoid well locations < ¼ mile from stream </li></ul><ul><li>Other criteria </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Q not > 1% of natural stream flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interference not >25% of Q </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If PSI determined, options include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Settle for lower rate (i.e., less than criteria) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to rebut finding of PSI </li></ul></ul>
    32. 36. Well Construction Requirements <ul><li>Sometimes as special conditions in permit </li></ul><ul><li>Noncompliance can invalidate permit </li></ul><ul><li>Owner is responsible for informing driller </li></ul><ul><li>Old wells may require repairs </li></ul><ul><li>Well Construction Rules: OAR 690-210 to 690-225 </li></ul><ul><li>Costs for repairs sometimes > new well </li></ul>
    33. 37. Other Permit Conditions <ul><li>Other conditions may include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Installation of measuring device (SW, GW) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Installation fish screens or bypass devices (SW) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water level monitoring and reporting (GW) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water use recording and reporting (SW, GW) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pumping test requirements (GW) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time limits to begin and complete construction and put water to beneficial use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And so on </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ultimately, permit holder is responsible </li></ul>
    34. 38. Public Interest Review <ul><li>Proposed use must not be to the detriment of the public interest </li></ul>
    35. 39. Transfers <ul><li>Point of diversion (appropriation) </li></ul><ul><li>Type of use </li></ul><ul><li>Place of use </li></ul><ul><li>Substitution of groundwater for surface water </li></ul>
    36. 40. Transactional Due Diligence Issues
    37. 41. Reliability and Availability -- Latent Problems <ul><li>Outside influences affecting availability: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Well deepening requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hydrologic connection between surface and ground water </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Endangered species and instream flow requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water quality requirements, including temperature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Undeveloped municipal rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Litigation regarding the source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unadjudicated rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wetlands permit requirements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cost of electricity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: Generally case specific, so close work with local watermaster is necessary </li></ul></ul>
    38. 42. Reliability and Availability -- Legal Constraints on Availability <ul><li>Terms of the water right </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e., priority, rate and volume limits, place of use, point of diversion </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Basin plan regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Contractual terms </li></ul><ul><li>Conservation or management regulations </li></ul><ul><li>Land use restrictions </li></ul>
    39. 43. Shared Facilities <ul><li>Is water availability dependent upon delivery through shared facilities? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wells </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pipelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ditches </li></ul></ul>
    40. 44. Shared Facilities <ul><li>Issues of Concern </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Access rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Easements, Rights-of-way, Licenses </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joint maintenance obligations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shortage allocation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Liability allocation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope of use/expansion of use </li></ul></ul>
    41. 45. Shared Facility Agreements <ul><li>Well/pipeline sharing agreements </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintenance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shortage Allocation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rotation agreements </li></ul>
    42. 46. Working with WRD
    43. 47. Oregon Water Administration <ul><li>Oregon Water Resources Commission </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seven Member Citizen Commission </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily Policy Oriented </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Oregon Water Resources Department </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Director and Professional Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grant New Rights and Administer Existing Rights </li></ul></ul>
    44. 48. Department Overview <ul><li>146 Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Headquarters in Salem </li></ul><ul><li>5 Divisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Water Rights/Adjudication Division </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Field Services Division </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical Services Division </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Administrative Services Division </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Director’s Office (Phil Ward - Director) </li></ul></ul>
    45. 49. Water Right Section Make-Up Doing What? Staff Water Right Application Caseworkers 5 Extension Processing 3* Certificates/CWRE’s 2 Customer Service Counter 2 Support 3 Manager 1 TOTAL 16
    46. 50. Water Rights Process <ul><li>New Application Filed (Priority Date!) </li></ul><ul><li>If Permit is issued, pay attention to performance conditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Extension of Time? (If more time is needed) </li></ul><ul><li>Certified Water Right Examiner needed for COBU. </li></ul><ul><li>Certificate </li></ul><ul><li>Certificated Rights can be transferred . Permits are eligible for permit amendments. Transfers and Permit Amendments can be used to move water rights onto other lands - and make other changes. </li></ul>
    47. 51. Processing Secrets Application Acceptance Minimum Review Checklists Deficiency Letter Caseworker assignment Fiscal Section (Receipt) Data center (data entry/work list) Ground water section/Dam Safety File Cabinet
    48. 52. How long does it take? (To get a water right permit.) <ul><li>It depends on a lot of things </li></ul><ul><li>180 days (alternate reservoir process) </li></ul><ul><li>241 days (regular process…) </li></ul><ul><li>Years </li></ul><ul><li>Reimbursement Authority </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Certificate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extension of Time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transfer/Permit Amendment </li></ul></ul></ul>
    49. 53. Workload Issues <ul><li>Backlogs and Filing Rates </li></ul><ul><li>Extensions - up to date within a few months </li></ul><ul><li>Certificates - 6,000 and holding steady </li></ul><ul><li>Water Right Apps - dropping slowly while </li></ul><ul><li>increasing in complexity </li></ul><ul><li>Limited Licenses – increasing </li></ul><ul><li>Transfers - application rate is growing </li></ul>
    50. 54. Regulation <ul><li>Some of Oregon’s river basins are regulated to satisfy prior rights every year. </li></ul><ul><li>Other basins, in wetter areas, have never seen regulation. </li></ul><ul><li>Ground water uses can be regulated also. </li></ul><ul><li>Illegal use investigations are more likely to occur in areas where there is not enough water to satisfy all rights or when some other project is taking place: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Surface or ground water study </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TMDL (DEQ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Endangered Species Act </li></ul></ul>
    51. 55. Questions Anyone?
    52. 56. Thank you for attending.

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