2013 ORS § 537.346¹
Conversion of minimum perennial streamflows to in-stream water rights
  • special provisions for Willamette Basin

(1) All minimum perennial streamflows established on any waters of this state before June 25, 1988, shall be converted to in-stream water rights after the Water Resources Commission reviews the streamflows and the Water Resources Department issues a certificate for an in-stream water right in accordance with ORS 537.343 (Proposed final order) with the same priority date as the minimum perennial streamflow.

(2) The priority date for that portion of an in-stream water right that uses the stored water component of a minimum perennial streamflow in the Willamette Basin shall be the date the commission or its predecessor adopted the minimum perennial streamflow containing the stored water component.

(3) Notwithstanding the priority date established under subsection (2) of this section, until the state enters into a contract that meets the criteria set forth in subsection (4) of this section with the owner of the storage facility to release the stored water for the purpose of satisfying the in-stream water right, for that portion of an in-stream water right in the Willamette Basin converted from the stored water component of a minimum perennial streamflow, the department:

(a) May not require the release of the stored water; and

(b) Shall not regulate the use of water to provide water for the portion of the in-stream water right using stored water.

(4) A contract for the release of stored water to satisfy an in-stream water right shall:

(a) Include as parties to the contract the State of Oregon and the owner of the storage facility;

(b) Specifically allow the state to obtain the release of stored water to satisfy an in-stream water right; and

(c) Identify a method to determine the specific quantity of water released from storage to satisfy the stored water component of the in-stream water right.

(5) If the federal government does not release water to satisfy a stored water component of an in-stream water right pursuant to a contract that satisfies the criteria set forth in subsection (4) of this section, the department may not regulate the use of water by other water right holders to satisfy the stored water component of an in-stream water right or take any other action that impairs the rights of any person under a valid contract for the use of the stored water. [1987 c.859 §8; 1995 c.72 §1; 1997 c.212 §3; 1999 c.59 §170; 2001 c.104 §227]