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Water-Related Bills Enacted in 2005
HB 2083
Eliminate Regulations
Eliminates statutory provisions that are obsolete or burdensome.  Eliminates provision under ORS 537.330(2) that requires a seller to notify the Department of a real estate transaction that involves a water right.  Eliminates requirement under ORS 537.788 that requires the recording of a well I.D. tag on the property deed records.  Eliminates the water use registration process under ORS 537.015 to 537.032.  Effective January 1, 2006.
HB 2123
Water Use Transfers
Modifies statutes related to water right changes in three ways:  1) allows surface water to ground water transfers where the ground water use will affect the surface water source similarly, but is no longer limited to unconfined aquifers; 2) directs Water Resources Commission to develop rules to process requests to modify the place of use, type of use, or point of appropriation for pre-1955 ground water uses; 3) removes sunset on the consent to injury provision for point of diversion transfers.  Effective July 22, 2005.        
HB 2130
Removal and Fill Permitting
Eliminates provision under ORS 196.840 that provided authority to certain agencies to petition the Water Resources Commission to close waters of the State to issuance of removal and fill permits.  Effective July 1, 2005.        
HB 2178
Use of Stored Water
Establishes an expedited process to obtain a water right permit to use water stored in a reservoir, provided no public interest issues are identified during the public comment process.  Also amends ORS 537.400 to require that an applicant for a right to use stored water provide notice to the operator of the reservoir and, if applicable, that an agreement exists with the entity delivering the stored water. Effective January 1, 2006.

HB 2186
Reimbursement Authority
Removes sunset provision on the Departments Reimbursement Authority program.  Effective January 1, 2006.
HB 2875
District Transfers
Modifies ORS 540.570(2) to provide certain districts the opportunity to temporarily (for one irrigation season) change a point of diversion for a water right in the event an emergency prevents the district from diverting water from its authorized point of diversion.  Effective January 1, 2006.

HB 3038
Municipal Water Right Extensions
Establishes a statutory timeline of 20 years to commence and complete construction for new surface water and ground water permits for municipal use.  Requires that all municipal permit extensions be conditioned to require a water management and conservation plan prior to diverting water beyond the maximum amount currently beneficially used by the municipality.  For the first extension issued after June 25, 2005 for a permit for municipal use issued before November 2, 1998, requires that the Department find that the undeveloped portion of the permit is condition to maintain the persistence of listed fish species.  Ensures that previous actions by the Department to issue municipal use permits and extensions are valid with respect to construction timelines.  Effective June 29, 2005.
HB 3494
Deschutes Basin Ground Water Mitigation Program
Clarifies that Deschutes Basin ground water mitigation rules adopted by the Water Resources Commission and effective on September 27, 2002 satisfy the requirements relating to mitigation under the Scenic Waterway Act, the Instream Water Rights Act, and Ground Water Act.  Repeals rules in January 2014.  Requires report to the Legislature on the implementation and operation of the Deschutes ground water mitigation and mitigation bank programs by January 2009.  Effective July 29, 2005.

SB 179
Fees for Digital Submission of Materials
Allows the Water Resources Commission to develop rules to reduce fees for certain materials submitted in a digital format.  Effective January 1, 2006.

SB 185
Instream Leasing
Clarifies under ORS 540.610 that when a primary water right is leased instream the forfeiture clock for the supplemental right is tolled.  Effective June 14, 2005.