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Limited Licenses

A limited license for water provides a short-term authorization for temporary use of water. Limited licenses are typically for a fixed duration and cannot be issued for more than five (5) consecutive years.

Under current water law, certain types of uses can be allowed if water is available and the proposed use will not injure other water rights. A limited license allows landowners and developers to use water for purposes that do not require a permanent water right, such as to provide water to establish a crop that requires no further irrigation after the crop is established, road construction, and emergency use.

A limited license does not have a priority date and is junior to all other rights and subject to revocation if the Department finds that the use injures other water rights. 

The Department conducts a review of an application for a limited license to assess the proposed use, diversion, and location it looks for water availability and public interest concerns such as threatened and endangered fish, water quality limited streams, or scenic waterways. An application for a limited license is subject to a public comment period.  If the Department finds that water is available and the proposed use will not impair the public interest, it will be issued with terms and conditions similar to those of a water use permit.

For more information contact:
Mary Bjork  503-979-9895
Other Resources: