Water Resources Commission and Department activities which affect the waters of the Willamette River Basin shall be compatible with the policies established in this rule. Surface water allocation, groundwater management, municipal and domestic water systems, reservoir coordination, conservation and land use coordination are important issues in the Willamette Basin. The Commission’s policies on these issues are as follows:
Surface water allocation:
Protect undeveloped streams with instream values for public instream uses;
Seek a balance in the future appropriation of water between instream and total out-of-stream uses on those streams already significantly developed for out-of-stream purposes;
Preserve opportunities for future economic development by reserving water for future use;
Minimize the likelihood of over-appropriation due to new uses;
Manage stored waters which have been released for instream purposes to meet flow needs reflected in established instream water rights;
Allow irrigation use for the longest period possible between March 1 and October 31 provided sufficient water is available.
Prevent excessive water level declines, restore aquifer stability in areas of decline and preserve with limited storage capacity for designated uses;
Identify low-yield aquifers and inform local agencies of probable groundwater capacity limitations for some uses;
Ensure safe municipal and domestic groundwater supplies by participating with the Department of Environmental Quality and the State Health Division in a formal monitoring program to document changes in quality and provide data for aquifer management;
Minimize impairment of surface water uses resulting from hydraulic connection between groundwater and surface water;
Encourage the development of programs for making groundwater resource information available to the public and local agencies.
Municipal and domestic water systems: Support coordinated water service planning and consolidation by water purveyors to preserve and protect adequate and safe drinking water supplies for human consumption in the Willamette Basin.
Promote funding to study and implement the Willamette River Basin Review Study reconnaissance phase recommendations with significant potential to assist the state in meeting its resource management objectives;
Formalize reservoir operation guidelines with the Corps of Engineers to meet state water management objectives and enter into a memorandum of understanding or other agreement that defines the reservoir coordination process and water management objectives.
Implement programs to eliminate wasteful water use;
Improve the efficiency of water use through implementation of voluntary conservation measures;
Give priority to developing subbasin conservation plans and providing public assistance in areas of known over-appropriation of surface water and groundwater and in water quality problem areas as listed by the Department of Environmental Quality.
Land use coordination: Promote effective state and local water resource planning and protection and efficient water use through coordination with land use programs.