Division 79 – Permanent Rules Establishing Procedures for
Extending Reservations of Water for Economic Development
A reservation of water for future economic development sets aside a quantity of
water for storage to meet future needs. The existing OAR 690, Division 79 rules, which outline procedures to establish and
extend reservations, have not been updated since the statutes governing reservations were amended in 1995 and 1997. As a result, the
Division 79 rules are not consistent with changes in statute. A number of reservations are set to expire over the next few years; therefore,
these Division 79 rules are intended to clarify the information requirements and process the Department will follow in considering requests to
Division 512 – Malheur Lake Basin Program
NOTE: TO ALLOW MORE TIME FOR PUBLIC REVIEW, THE COMMENT PERIOD ON THESE DRAFT RULES HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MARCH 30, 2016. THE PUBLIC HEARINGS HAVE ALSO BEEN RESCHEDULED TO MARCH 30, 2016.
In general, a Basin Program describes how water may be used in major river and
lake basins and their tributaries. The Malheur Lake Basin Program currently
describes that new uses may only be established if water is available unless
the use is for an instream right, permit to store water between March 1 and May
31, use of stored water, and multi-purpose storage projects authorized under
OAR 690-512-0100. The Malheur Lake Basin Program also reserves water for future
economic development in the Home Creek sub-basin.
Current data, comprising substantial evidence, indicate that
groundwater levels are declining in areas of the Greater Harney Valley
Groundwater Area of Concern. Additional allocation of groundwater within this
area may exacerbate these declines. A comparison between estimated annual
recharge and previously allocated groundwater volumes indicates that
groundwater is fully allocated in some areas of the basin. The Department is
proposing to establish the Greater Harney Valley Groundwater Area of Concern in
part of the Malheur Lake Basin, which will allow some pending applications to
be approved if offset water can be provided, and limit future applications from
being approved while a groundwater study is completed. Exempt uses will not be
Two public hearings will be held on these draft rules. One is at the Harney County Community Center on March 30, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Another hearing will be held at the Oregon Water Resources Department, 725 Summer St. NE, Rogue Conference Room, Salem, OR 97301 on March 30, 2016 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Written comments will be accepted until 5 pm on March 30, 2016. See below for more information.
Division 509 – Extending Reservations of Water for Economic Development for Burnt River Areas of the Powder Basin
NOTE: THE JANUARY 25th HEARING LOCATION HAS BEEN MOVED TO THE:
Geiser Grand Hotel, 1996 Main St. Baker City, OR 97814
These rules amendments would extend reservations of water for future economic development for the South Fork Burnt River, North Fork Burnt River, and Burnt River Subbasins of the Powder River Basin for an additional 20 years, to 2036, and change reporting requirements. Without these rule amendments, the Burnt River area reservations will expire. In addition, the rules include corrections to clarify that the uses for the reservations are classified uses and address inconsistencies in terminology.
The first hearing will be held at the Best Western Sunridge Inn, Library/Marilyn's Room, 1 Sunridge Lane, Baker City, OR 97814 Geiser Grand Hotel, 1996 Main St., Baker City, OR 97814 on January 25, 2016 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm. A second hearing will be held at the Oregon Water Resources Department, 725 Summer St. NE, Room 124b, Salem, OR 97301 on January 26, 2016 from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Written comments will be accepted through February 4, 2016. See below for more information.