2011 ORS § 541.631¹
Conditions for approval of grant application
  • water storage project design requirements
  • protection of public benefit
  • waiver of conditions
  • rules

(1) Subject to any additional qualifications or restrictions under ORS 541.616 (Incomplete applications), 541.621 (Review of grant application) or 541.636 (Conditions for issuance of grant) or Water Resources Commission rules, the Water Resources Department may approve a grant application filed under ORS 541.611 (Application for grant from Water Investment Grant Fund) if the department finds that:

(a) The plan for the construction of the proposed project complies with all applicable provisions related to water well constructors under ORS 537.747 (Water well constructors license) to 537.765 (Log of constructing, altering, abandoning or converting well), reservoirs and diversion dams under ORS 540.340 (Reservoir and diversion dam) and dams, dikes and hydraulic structures or works in ORS 540.350 (Dams, dikes and other hydraulic works);

(b) Planned diversions of surface water include provision for fish screens and, if applicable, volitional fish passage;

(c) The use of surface water or ground water from the project will be measured and reported;

(d) The applicant or beneficiaries of water from the project measure and report, or have scheduled and financed the measurement of, all existing water use at the point of diversion;

(e) There is a reasonable certainty that the project, considered in total, will deliver a measurable net environmental public benefit; and

(f) To the extent applicable, the project complies with subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

(2) A water storage project must be designed:

(a) To provide for no more than 75 percent of new stored water in the aquifer or above-ground storage location of the project to be withdrawn for agricultural purposes and for not less than 25 percent of the new water to be dedicated for the purpose of providing net environmental public benefits or in-stream benefits; and

(b) To the extent practicable, to return dedicated new stored water for stream augmentation at a time of year that the Water Resources Department, in consultation with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife and relevant tribal governments, determines will provide the maximum net environmental public benefit or in-stream benefit.

(3) If more than 25 percent of the funding for a water storage project is from grants of state moneys and is not subject to repayment, the project must be designed to dedicate for the purpose of providing net environmental public benefit or in-stream benefit a percentage of the new stored water created by the project that equals or exceeds the percentage of funding for the project that is from grants of state moneys. The Water Resources Department shall manage the dedicated increment of new stored water for net environmental public benefit or in-stream benefit.

(4) On or before the earlier of six years after the issuance of the ground water recharge permit or the date the water right certificate is issued, the department shall quantify and legally protect the increment of new water returned in stream from a project described in this section.

(5) The department shall require as a contractual condition for issuing the grant, and as a condition of any new water permit or water right certificate, that if the project receives grants or loans from state moneys other than a grant issued under this section, the project must be operated in a manner that actually dedicates the percentage of new stored water for net environmental public benefit or in-stream benefit that the project was designed to dedicate for those purposes.

(6) The department shall require that a project protect peak and ecological flows to the extent determined by the State Department of Fish and Wildlife to be necessary.

(7) The commission, by rule, may allow the Water Resources Department to waive any requirement of this section for the issuance of a grant, other than the requirement of a measurable net environmental public benefit, if:

(a) The grant application requests less than $20,000; or

(b) The project is a conservation, efficiency, restoration or reuse project that can be shown to the satisfaction of the department to cause no harm to the source, any receiving stream, fish or wildlife or existing water rights.

(8) This section and ORS 541.611 (Application for grant from Water Investment Grant Fund), 541.616 (Incomplete applications), 541.621 (Review of grant application), 541.636 (Conditions for issuance of grant) and 541.641 (Exception to water measurement requirement) do not limit the authority granted the Environmental Quality Commission or the Department of Environmental Quality under ORS chapter 468B. [2009 c.907 §23; 2009 c.907 §30]

Note: Section 33, chapter 907, Oregon Laws 2009, provides:

Sec. 33. (1) Notwithstanding sections 19 [541.611 (Application for grant from Water Investment Grant Fund)] and 21 to 23 [541.616 (Incomplete applications) to 541.631 (Conditions for approval of grant application)] of this 2009 Act, but subject to section 24 of this 2009 Act [541.636 (Conditions for issuance of grant)], the Water Resources Department shall waive the grant application process described in sections 19 and 21 to 23 of this 2009 Act when issuing a grant for water development projects that:

(a) Are located in an area of the Umatilla Basin for which an assessment has been performed under chapter 13, Oregon Laws 2008 [541.561 (Establishment of grant program) to 541.581 (Rules for grant and direct service cost payment program) and sections 5 and 6, chapter 13, Oregon Laws 2008]; and

(b) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, are designed:

(A) To provide for no more than 75 percent of new stored water to be withdrawn and for not less than 25 percent of the new water to be dedicated for the purpose of providing net environmental public benefits or in-stream benefits; and

(B) To the extent practicable, to return dedicated new stored water for stream augmentation at a time of year that the Water Resources Department, in consultation with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife and relevant tribal governments, determines will provide the maximum net environmental public benefit or in-stream benefit.

(2) If more than 25 percent of the funding for an aquifer storage and recovery project is from grants of state moneys and is not subject to repayment, the project must be designed to dedicate for the purpose of providing net environmental public benefit or in-stream benefit a percentage of the new stored water created by the project that equals or exceeds the percentage of funding for the project that is from grants of state moneys. The Water Resources Department shall manage the dedicated increment of new stored water for net environmental public benefit and in-stream benefit.

(3) This section does not limit the authority granted the Environmental Quality Commission or the Department of Environmental Quality under ORS chapter 468B.

(4) This section is repealed January 2, 2030. [2009 c.907 §33]