2017 ORS 537.535¹
Unlawful use or appropriation of ground water, including well construction and operation

(1) No person or public agency shall use or attempt to use any ground water, construct or attempt to construct any well or other means of developing and securing ground water or operate or permit the operation of any well owned or controlled by such person or public agency except upon compliance with ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties) and any applicable order or rule adopted by the Water Resources Commission under ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties).

(2) Except for those uses exempted under ORS 537.545 (Exempt uses), the use of ground water for any purpose, without a permit issued under ORS 537.625 (Final order) or registration under ORS 537.605 (Registration of right to appropriate ground water claimed under ORS 537.585 or 537.595), is an unlawful appropriation of ground water. [1955 c.708 §4; 1957 c.341 §5; subsection (2) enacted as 1961 c.668 §2; 1985 c.673 §47]

Notes of Decisions

Ground Water Act of 1955, construed together with ORS chapter 536, governing ad­min­is­tra­­tion of wa­ter resources generally, cannot be read as expressly prohibiting local bodies from engaging in regulatory ac­tivity consistent with statute or agency regula­tions. Water Resources Dept. v. City of Klamath Falls, 68 Or App 148, 682 P2d 779 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Require­ments for exploring for or produc­tion of geothermal or oil or gas resources, (1974) Vol 37, p 68

Law Review Cita­tions

4 EL 333 (1974); 47 WLR 405 (2011)

Chapter 537

Notes of Decisions

Water control district, in applying for wa­ter appropria­tion permit for hydroelectric project, was exempt from licensing pro­vi­sions of ORS 543.010 (Definitions for ORS 543.010 to 543.610) to 543.620 and needed only to comply with require­ments of this chapter. Steamboaters v. Winchester Water Control Dist., 69 Or App 596, 688 P2d 92 (1984), Sup Ct review denied

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Reserva­tion to state of “all coal and other minerals” in deed of land by state as reserva­tion of geothermal resources, (1980) Vol 41, p 298

Law Review Cita­tions

11 EL 387 (1981); 16 EL 583, 592 (1986); 28 WLR 285 (1992)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 537—Appropriation of Water Generally, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors537.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 537, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano537.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
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.