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Additional Hydroelectric Use as Part of an Existing Certificated Water Right

An additional hydroelectric use may be allowed as part of an existing certificated water right as provided in ORS 543.765.  The process for adding hydroelectric use is expedited because the diversion from the stream is limited to that authorized by the original water right certificate and no new impacts to the stream are expected.  Fish screens, bypass flows and fish passage may be required by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).  The hydroelectric use does not have its own priority date and is limited to the rate, duty and season of the original right.

A certificated “water right” means a water use established by an adjudication under ORS chapter 539 as evidenced by a court decree or a certificated ground water or surface water right that is issued for some use other than for hydroelectric power and that serves as the underlying water right for an application to use water for hydroelectric purposes.

Environmental Review Criteria

Fish screens, bypass flows and fish passage may be required by ODFW.

  • Applicant consults with WRD, ODFW, Department of Environmental Quality and other natural resource agencies on project impacts and potential mitigation strategies.
  • Additional Hydroelectric Use application is received with $500 fee.
  • Application is placed on the Department’s Weekly Public Notice beginning a 30-day comment period.  WRD notifies ODFW about the application and asks for specific comments on the project impacts.
  • Site visit may be scheduled with ODFW.
  • Final Order is issued with appropriate certificate conditions.
  • The license or permit includes reference to an annual fee.