Or. Admin. R. 690-507-0090 - Willow Creek Subbasin

(1) Objectives: In developing a program for the management, use and control of the surface and groundwater resources of the Willow Creek subbasin, the Commission has the following objectives:
(a) Protect instream values by limiting future appropriations to selected nonirrigation or nonconsumptive uses;
(b) Preserve the opportunity for future upstream storage for all beneficial uses;
(c) Permit artificial groundwater recharge to offset declining groundwater levels and supplement existing groundwater uses;
(d) Achieve a balance between groundwater pumpage and natural recharge in designated critical groundwater areas and groundwater study areas;
(e) Protect municipal groundwater supplies;
(f) Prevent new appropriations from causing groundwater/ surface water interference.
(2) Surface Water: Appropriation and use of surface water in the Willow Creek subbasin shall comply with the following provisions:
(a) Classification: Permits to use surface water may be issued only for the following classified uses:
(A) The surface waters of Willow Creek and tributaries are classified for domestic, livestock, irrigation of noncommercial lawn and garden not to exceed 1/2 acre, municipal, industrial, power development (subject to the limitations of OAR Chapter 690, Division 51) mining (including sand and gravel mining), fish life, wildlife, recreation, pollution abatement, artificial groundwater recharge, and public instream uses; and
(B) Subject to the rights and priorities existing on June 24, 1988, Willow Creek and tributaries are further classified for all beneficial uses in conjunction with storage. All natural flow rights issued on Willow Creek and tributaries after this date shall be subordinate to this classification. Any storage project built under this classification shall include provisions for municipal, fish and wildlife, and recreation uses acceptable to the Commission.
(b) Storage: Surface water legally stored and legally released, may be used for any beneficial purpose;
(c) Artificial groundwater recharge: Use of surface water for groundwater recharge shall be subject to the following conditions:
(A) Recharged water used under a secondary permit for irrigation may only provide supplemental water to lands with existing irrigation rights or permits on June 24, 1988;
(B) Diversion of surface water for recharge for irrigation under a secondary permit shall not exceed 2.25 acre feet per acre to be irrigated; and
(C) If the recharged water is to be used for municipal or industrial purposes under a secondary permit, the applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that it has an active water conservation program.
(3) Groundwater: Appropriation and use of groundwater in the Willow Creek subbasin shall comply with the following provisions:
(a) Groundwater resources of the basalt aquifer within the Butter Creek Critical Groundwater Area are closed to further appropriation by Order of the Director dated August 18, 1986;
(b) Classification: Permits to use groundwater may be issued only for the following classified uses:
(A) The groundwater resources of the basalt aquifer in the Ella Butte Groundwater Study Area as described in the Proclamation of January 31, 1985, are classified for statutorily exempt uses (see definition) only. This classification terminates the critical groundwater determination proceeding initiated January 31, 1985, and the Proclamation of the same date issued for the Ella Butte study area;
(B) The groundwater resources of the Willow Creek subbasin outside the Butter Creek Critical Groundwater Area and the Ella Butte Groundwater Study Area are classified for statutorily exempt groundwater uses (see definition), irrigation, municipal, industrial, power development, low temperature geothermal, mining, fish life, wildlife, recreation, pollution abatement, and artificial groundwater recharge; and
(C) Groundwater from the basalt reservoir in a five-mile radius around any municipal well of the cities of Heppner, Ione and Lexington is classified for municipal, group domestic and statutorily exempt groundwater uses (see definition) only. Other uses may be permitted if it is documented that a barrier to groundwater movement separates a proposed well from municipal wells and there will be no interference with municipal wells. Applications for other uses of groundwater within a five-mile radius of a municipal well shall automatically be referred to the Commission for review and consideration of public interest unless the affected city affirms that it is in favor of the proposed appropriation. This classification applies only when the affected city(ies) have a full-time conservation program in effect.
(c) Permits issued to appropriate groundwaters that may be hydraulically connected with surface water shall be specially conditioned. The condition shall specify that when exercise of the permit unduly interferes with surface water, the permit will be regulated in favor of the surface water source.


Or. Admin. R. 690-507-0090
WRB 26, f. 3-2-64; WRD 1-1981, f. & cert. ef. 4-20-81; WRD 10-1985, f. & cert. ef. 9-3-85; WRD 13, f. & cert. ef. 12-18-85; WRD 14-1985, f. & cert. ef. 12-20-85; WRD 1-1986, RF. & cert. ef. 2-20-86; WRD 1-1987, f. & cert. ef. 2-27-87; WRD 8-1988, f. & cert. ef. 7-5-88; WRD 9-1990, f. & cert. ef. 6-25-90; Administrative Renumbering 1-1993, Renumbered from 690-080-0070; WRD 2-2017, f. & cert. ef. 5/22/2017

Stat. Auth.: ORS 536 & 537

Stats. Implemented:

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