Or. Admin. R. 690-086-0010 - Purpose
(1) The Water Resources Commission has adopted a statewide policy on Conservation and Efficient Water Use (OAR 690-410-0060). The policy requires major water users and suppliers to prepare water management and conservation plans. These rules provide a process to ensure the efficient use of the state's water resources and to facilitate water supply planning consistent with water supplier and Department capabilities. The Department shall update the Commission on the implementation and effectiveness of these rules every five years.
(2) Many regions of Oregon face periodic and increasingly frequent water shortages during summer periods. It is increasingly important to the state's economy to maintain adequate stream flows to support aquatic life, provide recreational opportunities and maintain water quality. The continued implementation of conservation measures can help restore streamflows, stabilize water supplies and provide for future needs for economic development and growth.
(3) Pursuant to ORS 540.610(3) the use of water at a rate or duty which is less than the maximum amount allowed under a water right that is achieved through improved water management practices is not forfeiture under certain circumstances. However, conserved water may only be used on additional acres or for other purposes not included in the original right after allocation of conserved water under ORS 537.455 to 537.500 or under other specific statutory authorizations.
(4) Effective water management requires an evaluation of the adequacy of water supplies to meet current and future needs, identification of planned modifications in water systems, and development of new water supplies. However, the approval of a water management and conservation plan shall not substitute for compliance with Statewide Planning Goals or any other comprehensive land use planning requirement or constitute approval of applications for water rights, water reservations, water storage facilities, transfers, permit amendments, or extensions of time for permits.
(5) Water management and conservation plans provide information important in water resources planning and management. In addition, the plans may provide support for applications for water use permits and water right transfers, permit amendments, and requests for extensions of permits, approvals of exchanges, and reservations of water. Due regard shall be given to any relevant approved water management and conservation plan during Department consideration of these applications and requests.
(6) Regional cooperation will improve water management and help to facilitate implementation of conservation measures. Water suppliers required under OAR 690-086-0010 to 690-086-0920 to prepare water management and conservation plans, and any other suppliers or users, may jointly submit a single plan that addresses the suppliers' conservation opportunities and water development needs.
(7) A water management and conservation plan that has been approved under these rules may, at the option of the water supplier, be submitted to satisfy a provision requiring preparation of a conservation or curtailment plan pursuant to OAR Chapter 690, Division 19, and ORS 536.780. The Department shall make the determination of whether the plan meets the applicable standards at the time of submittal in accordance with those provisions.
(8) Many water use permits that have been issued to water suppliers include conditions requiring preparation of water conservation, long-term water supply, and other water management plans. These rules provide standards for the preparation of such plans. Unless other more specific or stringent requirements are included in a permit, water management and conservation plans that have been approved under OAR 690-086-0915 shall be deemed to meet the permit condition.
Statutory/Other Authority: ORS 536.027, 537.211 & 540.572
Statutes/Other Implemented: ORS 537.230, 537.630 & 539.010
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