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Harney (Division 512) Rulemaking

The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) will amend OAR-690-512 (Malheur Lake Basin Program Rules). These rules govern surface water and groundwater use and allocation within the Malheur Lake Administrative Basin. The amendment to the rules will designate portions of the Malheur Lake Basin Administrative Boundaries as a Critical Ground Water Area (CGWA) due to groundwater declines within the basin. The Division 512 update will follow the framework outlined in OAR-690-010 to designate a CGWA. A basin designated as a CGWA allows OWRD to implement corrective control provisions through a contested case process to reduce existing groundwater use in the basin. Additionally, the Division 512 rules will be amended to include designating the basin a Serious Water Management Problem Area (SWMPA). A SWMPA designation requires the installation of water use measuring devices and reporting water use data to the OWRD.

OWRD will be accepting public comment on the Groundwater Report until the end of the Division 512 public comment period. This date will likely be in 2025, and will be shared once it has been finalized. The report, as well as the memo from OWRD's director Ivan Gall, are viewable below.

Groundwater Report for the Harney Basin Critical Groundwater Area (CGWA) Rulemaking 
Memo from Director Gall

If you wish to submit a public comment, please email:


Informational Session 1 - Groundwater Study - July 27, 2023
Informational Session 1 Video
Groundwater Study Presentation Video​ (video was pre-recorded for the Informational Session)

​​​​​Informational Session 2 - Classification - August 3, 2023
Informational Session 2 Video 
Classification PowerPoint

Informational Session 3 - Serious Water Management Problem Areas - August 10, 2023
Informational Session 3 Video 
Serious Water Management Problem Areas PowerPoint

Informational Session 4 - Voluntary Agreement - August 17, 2023
Informational Session 4 Video
​Voluntary Agreements PowerPoint

Informational Session 5​ - Critical Groundwater Area - August 24, 2023
Informational Session 5 Video
Critical Groundwater Area Presentation Video
Critical Groundwater Area PowerPoint​​

Seneca Public Meeting - November 3, 2022

​If you have comments on this rulemaking, please contact Kelly Meinz.
Phone Number: 971-718-7087