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Municipal Water Management
The Conservation Corner
Improvements Coming for Reclaimed Municipal Water Use Program Registrations
Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) manages registrations of reclaimed municipal water in Oregon, which is defined in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 537.131 as:
“…water that has been used for municipal purposes and after such use has been treated in a treatment works…and that, as a result of treatment, is suitable for a direct beneficial purpose or a controlled use that could not otherwise occur.”
A person wishing to use this reclaimed water, for instance to irrigate a hay pasture or a golf course, is exempt under ORS 537.132 from the process of obtaining a water use permit from OWRD if the following primary conditions are met:
·          The reclaimed water use must be authorized by Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) through either a national pollution discharge elimination system (NPDES) permit or a water pollution control facilities (WPCF) permit, which is generally issued to the wastewater treatment plant producing the reclaimed water suitable for reuse.  
·          The reclaimed water user must file a completed Reclaimed Water Registration Form with the OWRD signed by the reclaimed water user, the reclaimed water supplier, and the DEQ permit writer.  There is currently no fee for filing the registration form.
          Beginning in January 2016, a more effective process will be used to handle and track registrationsClick here to find out more                 ​
The Municipal Water Management and Conservation Planning program provides a process for municipal water suppliers to develop plans to meet future water needs. Many municipal water suppliers are required to prepare plans under water right permit conditions. In addition, with the revision of the permit extension rules in fall 2002, communities seeking long-term permit extensions will be required to prepare plans. These plans will be used to demonstrate the communities´ needs for increased diversions of water under the permits as their demands grow.

A municipal plans provides a description of the water system, identifies the sources of water used by the community, and explains how the water supplier will manage and conserve supplies to meet future needs. Preparation of a plan is intended to represent a pro-active evaluation of the management and conservation measures that suppliers can undertake. The planning program requires municipal water suppliers to consider water that can be saved through conservation practices as a source of supply to meet growing demands if the saved water is less expensive that developing new supplies. As such, a plan represents an integrated resource management approach to securing a community´s long-term water supply.

Many of the elements required in a plan are also required under similar plans by the Drinking Water Section of the state Department of Human Services (water system master plans) and Department of Land Conservation and Development (public facilities plans). Water providers can consolidate overlapping plan elements and create a single master plan that meets the requirements of all three programs. The state agencies involved in oversight and funding of community water supply projects have developed the Guidelines for Community Water Project Planning (PDF 996 KB) to aid in preparation of these plans.

Program Implementation
The Water Resources Department anticipates receiving as many as 200 municipal water management and conservation plans within the next three years. These plans will be submitted to comply with the requirements under the permit extension process and to secure Department authorization for increased diversion under extended permits.

To aid municipal suppliers in preparing plans and complying with the updated rules, the League of Oregon Cities (LOC), in cooperation with the Oregon Water Utility Council and Special Districts Association, commissioned preparation of a guidebook for developing water management and conservation plans. The guidebook may be ordered or downloaded at LOC´s publications site. LOC also sponsored three workshops (PDF 2.2 MB) to give community water providers guidance on using the manual.

Water Resources Department staff also have conducted workshops to assist communities in preparation of water management and conservation plan. The most recent workshop (PDF 1.5 MB) was held in Bend in 2001. The plan matrix (PDF 135 KB) prepared by Department staff also provides information on plan content and is in the format of the checklist that staff use when reviewing plans

Water Conservation Materials
The Department has updated our brochures for water conservation and updated and expanded the model water curtailment ordinance. Use and reproduction of these materials is free.
Indoor Water Use - A Guide to Water Conservation (PDF 249 KB)
Outdoor Water Use - A Guide to Water Conservation (PDF 298 KB)
How to Produce a Lawn-Watering Guide - A Guide to Water Conservation (PDF 390 KB) 
Saving Water Energy and Fish (PDF 339 KB) 
A Water Conservation Guide for Commercial Institutional and Industrial Users (PDF 2.2 MB)
Courtesy of the New Mexico Water Use and Conservation Bureau, July 1999
Model Water Curtailment Measures for Municipal and Quasi-Municipal Water Utilities (PDF 144 KB)

Links and Resources
League of Oregon Cities Planning Guidebook
LOC Municipal WMCP Workshop Slides (PDF 2.2 MB)
Water Management and Conservation Plan Matrix (PDF 135 KB)
WRD Municipal WMCP Workshop Slides - 2001 (PDF 1.5 MB)
Guidelines for Community Water Project Planning (PDF 996 KB)


ORS 536.027 and ORS 537.210
OAR 690-410-0060, Chapter 690, Division 086 and OAR 690-315-0090