Oregon Water Resources Department

Rule Rule 690-340-0020
Ponds in Existence Prior to January 1, 1993 (HB 2153, 1993)


A landowner with an unpermitted reservoir constructed before January 1, 1993 may apply for a water right permit and continue the use of water while a decision is pending on the application. The water right application, if approved in accordance with OAR 690-011-0155 through 690-011-0185 (dated 4-13-94), will receive a priority date of January 1, 1993. In order to qualify for these benefits, an application must be filed on or before January 1, 1995. In addition to the information and fees required under OAR 690-011-0020 and 690-011-0040 (dated 4-13-94), an application shall also be accompanied by evidence that the reservoir existed before January 1, 1993. Such evidence may include:


A dated aerial photograph which shows the immediate area above, below and surrounding the reservoir;


An affidavit signed by the landowner or other knowledgeable person;


A dated map prepared by a local, state or federal agency showing the location of the reservoir; or


Construction receipts or other forms of documentation.


Notwithstanding the requirements for a survey set forth in ORS 537.230 (Time allowed for construction of irrigation or other work), no survey of the appropriation is required for a reservoir storing less than 9.2 acre feet or with a dam less than 10 feet in height. Maps submitted with the application shall be of sufficient quality and scale to establish the location of the reservoir to the nearest quarter-quarter section, township and range.


Up to 10 reservoirs may be included in a single application if the reservoirs existed prior to January 1, 1993; have dams that are less than 10 feet in height or that store less than 9.2 acre-feet of water; are in the same drainage basin; and within the same ownership on contiguous property. For a rural fire protection district formed under ORS 478.010 (Formation) or a forest protection district formed under ORS 477.225 (Establishment and change of forest protection districts), up to 10 reservoirs may be included in a single application if all the reservoirs are within the boundaries of the district; are within the same drainage basin; and are an element of the district’s fire protection system.


A water right certificate under ORS 537.250 (Water right certificate) may be issued in lieu of a permit if:


The reservoir existed before January 1, 1993;


The records of the Department provide satisfactory documentation to describe the location and volume of storage;


Modifications or alterations to the impoundment structure are not required; and


The Commission determines under section (1) of this rule that the reservoir would qualify for issuance of a permit.

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021