ORS 537.742¹
Contested case proceeding to limit use of ground water in critical ground water area

(1) Any time after the Water Resources Commission adopts a rule under ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area) designating a critical ground water area, the commission may initiate a contested case proceeding to limit the use of ground water in the area if the commission has reason to believe that any of the qualifying criteria of ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area) (1) exists.

(2) Upon the conclusion of a contested case proceeding initiated under subsection (1) of this section and upon finding that the problems that resulted in the designation of a critical ground water area under ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area) can be resolved by implementing one or more of the corrective control provisions of this section, the commission shall issue a final order establishing any one or more of the following corrective control provisions:

(a) A provision apportioning the permissible total withdrawal as established by rule under ORS 537.730 (Designation of critical ground water area), among the appropriators holding valid rights to ground water in the critical area in accordance with the relative dates of priority of such rights.

(b) A provision according preference, without reference to relative priorities, to withdrawals of ground water in the critical area for residential and livestock watering purposes first. Thereafter, the commission may authorize withdrawals of ground water in the critical area for other beneficial purposes, including agricultural, industrial, municipal other than residential, and recreational purposes, in such order as the commission considers advisable under the circumstances, so long as such withdrawal will not materially affect a properly designed and operating well with prior rights that penetrates the aquifer.

(c) A provision reducing the permissible withdrawal of ground water by any one or more appropriators or wells in the critical area.

(d) Where two or more wells in the critical area are used by the same appropriator, a provision adjusting the total permissible withdrawal of ground water by such appropriator, or a provision forbidding the use of one or more of such wells completely.

(e) A provision requiring the abatement, in whole or part, or the sealing of any well in the critical area responsible for the admission of polluting materials into the ground water supply or responsible for the progressive impairment of the quality of the ground water supply by dispersing polluting materials that have entered the ground water supply previously.

(f) A provision requiring and specifying a system of rotation of use of ground water in the critical area.

(3) The commission shall conduct the proceeding under this section according to the provisions of ORS chapter 183 applicable to contested case proceedings. [1991 c.400 §2]

Law Review Cita­tions

47 WLR 405 (2011)

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 (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 537, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano537.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
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