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Aquifer Storage and Recovery
Purpose
The statutes allowing Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) were enacted through passage of HB 3183 (1995). The ASR statutes allow water users to use existing water rights to store water in an aquifer. Initially, a limited license is required for ASR testing to determine if recovery of the water injected into an aquifer is feasible. The limited license requires the use of any recovered water for the same purposes as the right under which the water was originally diverted. A permit is required for ongoing storage and recovery of water under an ASR project. The permit may only be obtained after the completion of a testing program. An ASR permit allows the water user to divert up to the maximum quantity of water allowed under a right and to store that water to meet future demands. A water user´s capacity may be limited by the maximum diversion rate under the water rights or by other factors such as water treatment or conveyance capabilities. Because the injected water must meet drinking water quality standards, little treatment of the water pumped from an ASR project is required.

In determining whether to issue limited licenses and permits for ASR projects, the Department evaluates the potential effect of injection on ground water quality, whether the injected water can be recovered without injuring existing users of the aquifer, and other potential injurious effects of the project. Water quality issues are addressed through coordination with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Health Services Division of the Department of Human Services. A limited license or permit for ASR may be modified or revoked if injurious effects are identified after the project is in operation.

Program Implementation
The City of Salem has initiated ASR testing under a limited license to determine if such a project is feasible for meeting peak summer demands that exceed the city´s capacity to treat and convey water from its water treatment plant. Limited licenses have also been issued for the cooperative effort by the City of Beaverton and Tualatin Valley Water District, Clackamas River Water, and the cities of Tigard, Portland, and Pendleton. The Department is aware of additional municipal and agricultural interest in ASR projects.

Links of Interest
 
2008 Presentation: ASR and AR in Oregon 
 
DEQ Fact Sheet: ASR and AR 

Authority
ORS 537.531 to 537.534
OAR 690-350-010 to 690-350-030