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Oregon law requires that all water that is diverted by water right holders be used beneficially and without waste. This means that a water right holder is required by law to use only the amount necessary for the intended purpose and no more, up to the limits of the water right. 

The Department recognizes that water resources needs in Oregon are many, while our resources are finite. Therefore the efficient use of water and practices that conserve water resources are encouraged. The Department has several programs and efforts to assist with water conservation. These include planning tools and resources, modifications to water rights and information about watershed restoration and instream activities.