2017 ORS 537.775¹
Wasteful or defective wells
  • permanent abandonment of old well

(1) Whenever the Water Resources Commission finds that any well, including any well exempt under ORS 537.545 (Exempt uses), is by the nature of its construction, operation or otherwise causing wasteful use of ground water, is unduly interfering with other wells or surface water supply, is a threat to health, is polluting ground water or surface water supplies, is causing substantial alteration of ground water temperatures or is causing substantial thermal interference with other wells contrary to ORS 537.505 (Short title) to 537.795 (ORS 537.505 to 537.795 supplementary) and 537.992 (Civil penalties), the commission may order discontinuance of the use of the well, impose conditions upon the use of such well to such extent as may be necessary to remedy the defect or order permanent abandonment of the well according to specifications of the commission.

(2) In the absence of a determination of a critical ground water area, any order issued under this section imposing conditions upon interfering wells shall provide to each party all water to which the party is entitled, in accordance with the date of priority of the water right.

(3) A landowner who replaces an old well by drilling a new well shall permanently abandon the old well if the old well is within a setback as defined in well construction rules adopted by the commission. Permanent abandonment of a well located within a setback shall occur within one year after the function of the well is replaced or within one year after the water right, if applicable, is transferred to the new well, whichever is later. [1955 c.708 §25; 1981 c.919 §2; 1985 c.673 §71; 1987 c.442 §2; 1989 c.201 §6; 1989 c.833 §59; 1993 c.774 §12]

Law Review Cita­tions

40 EL 141 (2010); 47 WLR 405 (2011)

Notes of Decisions

Water Resources Commission imple­menta­tion and en­force­­ment of state control over inspec­tion and construc­tion of wells is discre­tionary. Ashland Drilling, Inc. v. Jackson County, 168 Or App 624, 4 P3d 748 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

County ordinance pro­vi­sions requiring well construc­tion permit, imposing construc­tion permit fees, regulating well loca­tion, requiring submission of plot plans, and requiring flow testing are preempted by state law. Ashland Drilling, Inc. v. Jackson County, 168 Or App 624, 4 P3d 748 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

County ordinance pro­vi­sions requiring well wa­ter quality testing, requiring inclusion of notice in deed of inadequate wa­ter supply, and regulating subdivision of lands having inadequate wa­ter supply are not preempted by state law. Ashland Drilling, Inc. v. Jackson County, 168 Or App 624, 4 P3d 748 (2000), Sup Ct review denied

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.