ORS 541.010¹
Furnishing of water for certain purposes declared to be a public use
  • rates
  • amendment of law

(1) The use of the water of the lakes and running streams of Oregon, for general rental, sale or distribution, for purposes of irrigation, and supplying water for household and domestic consumption, and watering livestock upon dry lands of the state, is a public use, and the right to collect rates or compensation for such use of water is a franchise. A use shall be deemed general within the purview of this section when the water appropriated is supplied to all persons whose lands lie adjacent to or within reach of the line of the ditch, canal or flume in which the water is conveyed, without discrimination other than priority of contract, upon payment of charges therefor, as long as there may be water to supply.

(2) Rates for the uses of water mentioned in this section may be fixed by the Legislative Assembly or by such officer as may be given that authority by the Legislative Assembly, but rates shall not be fixed lower than will allow the net profits of any ditch, canal, flume or system thereof to equal the prevailing legal rate of interest on the amount of money actually paid in and employed in the construction and operation of the ditch, canal, flume or system.

(3) This section and ORS 541.020 (Construction of ditches and canals by corporation) to 541.080 (Suits involving water rights) may at any time be amended by the Legislative Assembly, and commissioners for the management of water rights and the use of water may be appointed.

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 541—Watershed Enhancement and Protection; Water Development Projects; Miscellaneous Provisions on Water Rights; Stewardship Agreements, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­Archive/­2007ors541.­pdf (2007) (last ac­cessed Feb. 12, 2009).
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information