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Commission and Department
To serve the public by practicing and promoting responsible water management.

The Water Resources Commission is a seven-member citizen body established by statute to set water policy for the state and oversee activities of the Water Resources Department in accordance with state law. Members are appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate, for four-year terms. One member is appointed from each of five regional river basin management areas, and two “at large” members from east and west of the Cascades.
The Water Resources Department is the state agency charged with administration of the laws governing surface and ground water resources. The Department is organized into five divisions— Field Services, Technical Services, Water Rights and Adjudications, Administrative Services, and the Director’s Office—all operating under the immediate authority of the Director.
The Director is appointed by the Governor to serve a four-year term, subject to confirmation by the Oregon Senate. The Director is charged with applying the Commission’s adopted policies and rules through Department programs. In addition, the Director has independent responsibility for general stream adjudications.
“The original thinking behind the Oregon Water Code was quite sound.  Although the Code has adapted over the years to meet society’s changing needs, it remains a functional and effective system, providing certainty to Oregon’s communities and protecting more water instream than any other western state.”  ~ Phillip C. Ward, Director of the Water Resources Department
Commission and Department
1. Oregon Water Laws
water management in Oregon
2. Protections and Restrictions
managing water appropriations
3. New Water Rights
gaining authorization to use water
4. Other Water Rights
authorization for water use
5. Transferring Rights
existing rights for new users
6. Canceling Rights
loss of water rights through non-use
7. Conservation
encouraging efficient water use
8. Finding Water Rights
determining if you have a water right
9. Enforcing Water Laws
watermasters and field staff protecting rights and resources
10. Region Managers and Offices
11. Fees
Appendix A
other development permits
Water Measurement Conversions