OAR 690-410-0060
Conservation and Efficient Water Use


Policy — The elimination of waste and improving the efficiency of water use are high priorities. Use of water without waste is required by state statute and the prior appropriation doctrine. Programs to eliminate waste shall be implemented. In addition, improving the efficiency of water use through implementation of voluntary conservation measures can help restores instream flows and provide for future needs including public uses and continued economic development. Priority shall be given to developing subbasin conservation plans and providing public assistance in areas of known over-appropriation of surface water and groundwater and of water quality problems.


Principles — Programs to achieve the policy in section (1) of this rule shall be guided by the following principles:


Water users shall construct, operate and maintain their water systems in a manner which prevents waste and minimizes harm to the waters of the state and injury to other water rights;


Major water users and suppliers shall prepare water management plans under the guidance of schedules, criteria and procedures which shall be adopted by rule. The plans shall evaluate opportunities for conservation and include a quantification of losses of water from the systems, an evaluation of the effectiveness and costs of alternative measures to reduce losses, and an implementation schedule for all feasible measures. During the planning processes, consideration shall be given to the environmental impacts from and time needed for implementation of system modifications. The Department shall assist water users and suppliers in the preparation of the water management plans;


The Commission shall encourage and facilitate the development of subbasin conservation plans throughout the state by local advisory committees. Subbasin conservation plans shall include measures to assist water users in eliminating waste, other methods to improve water use efficiency in the subbasin, funding proposals to implement the measures and procedures to protect water dedicated to instream uses from further diversion. Priority shall be given to development of subbasin conservation plans in serious water management problem areas, critical groundwater areas and other areas where water supplies are not sufficient to meet demands. The Commission shall adopt rules to guide formation of broad-based committees, the preparation of subbasin plans, and the submittal of plans to the Commission for approval;


When wasteful practices are identified in water management plans and subbasin conservation plans, the Commission shall adopt rules prescribing statewide and subbasin standards and practices that ensure beneficial use without waste. The rules shall recognize that conditions vary for different parts of the state and for different uses;


A conservation element shall be developed and included in each basin plan when a major plan review and update is performed;


The collection, analysis and distribution of information on water use and availability are necessary to ensure that the waters of the state are managed for maximum beneficial use and to protect the public welfare, safety and health. The ability to measure flows at authorized points of diversion is essential to the management of water and the elimination of waste;


The Commission shall support public education programs, research and demonstration projects to increase citizen and water user awareness of water conservation issues and measures in the state; and


The Commission shall support programs to provide economic assistance to water users to implement desired conservation measures, particularly where the benefits of implementing the measures are high.

Source: Rule 690-410-0060 — Conservation and Efficient Water Use, https://secure.­sos.­state.­or.­us/oard/view.­action?ruleNumber=690-410-0060.

Last Updated

Jun. 8, 2021

Rule 690-410-0060’s source at or​.us