OREGON INSTREAM WATER RIGHT LAW AND POLICY
Oregon Flow Enhancement Tools
Tom Paul
Oregon Water Resources Department


Existing Instream Water Rights
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Oregon Flow Enhancement Tools

  • Mechanisms to Establish Instream Water Rights
    • State Agencies
    • Others

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Instream water rights

  • Recreation
    • Parks and recreation

  • Pollution control
    • Department of Environmental Quality

  • Fish & Wildlife
    • Department of Fish and Wildlife

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Flow Restoration Priorities
Existing Instream Water Rights - map Larger Map
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Tools for Voluntary Streamflow Restoration

  • Instream transfers
  • Leases
  • Allocations of conserved water

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Instream Transfers

  • Permanent

  • Time-limited
    • for period requested by applicant

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Instream Leases

  • Standard leases
    • 1 to 5 years, renewal allowed

  • Split season use leases
    • Allows two beneficial uses in a single season
    • 1 year or until drought lifted, renewal allowed

  • Temporary drought leases
    • 1 year
    • where drought declared

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Instream Leases & Transfers

  • Right must be eligible for lease or transfer
  • Quantity subject to lease or transfer
    • full face value
  • Must be ready, willing, able to exercise existing right
  • No injury/enlargement
  • Must provide instream benefit
  • Must dry up land

  • Amount
    • face value less conveyance losses

  • Timing
    • typically limited to one season of use; some shaping allowed

  • Location
    • POD or reach

Existing Instream Water Rights - map Larger Map

Existing Instream Water Rights - map Larger Map
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Allocations of Conserved Water

  • Allows "spreading" of conserved water to new uses
  • Portion of conserved water for instream use
  • Assignment of priority dates for conserved & instream water rights
  • Amount allocated reduced to mitigate effects on other rights

Less than 25 % 75 %
25 % to 75 % Equal to portion of project costs not from public sources
More than 75% 25%
* The applicant may agree to receive an allocation of a lesser amount of the conserved water.

Existing Instream Water Rights - map Larger Map
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Other Streamflow Restoration Tools

  • Voluntary Agreements Among Water Users
  • Exchanges/Source Switching
  • Substitutions

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Policy Issues

  • Continued resistance to instream flow enhancement efforts

  • Impacts to other users
    • Legal entitlement of users
    • Pattern of customary water use

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Quick Find:

Existing Instream Water Rights

Oregon Flow Enhancement Tools

Instream Water Rights

Flow Restoration Priorities

Tools for Voluntary Streamflow Restoration

Instream Transfers

Instream Leases

Instream Leases & Transfers

Allocations of Conserved Water

Other Streamflow Restoration Tools

Policy Issues