Appropriation of Water Generally

ORS 537.260
Cancellation of permit for failure of proof of completion of appropriation

  • issuance of limited certificate
  • contest of issuance of certificate
  • exception for municipalities


Except as provided under subsection (4) of this section for a permit issued to a municipality, whenever the time within which any appropriation under a permit should have been perfected has expired and the owner of the permit fails or refuses within three months thereafter to submit to the Water Resources Department proof of completion of the appropriation as required by ORS 537.230 (Time allowed for construction of irrigation or other work) and 537.250 (Water right certificate), the department may, after 60 days’ notice by registered mail or by certified mail with return receipt, order the cancellation of the permit. The cancellation shall have the same force and effect as cancellation of a permit in the proceedings provided for in ORS 537.410 (Failure to commence or complete work, or to properly apply water, as grounds for cancellation of permit) to 537.450 (Rules for proof as to work and use of water under permits).


The department may determine the extent to which an appropriation has been perfected under any permit at the time of submission of final proof provided for in ORS 537.250 (Water right certificate), and shall limit the certificate provided for in that section to a description of such appropriation as has been actually perfected to the extent that the water applied for has been actually applied to the beneficial use contemplated in the permit.


Any person owning an application, permit or water right certificate subsequent in priority may jointly or severally contest before the department the issuance of the water right certificate at any time before it has issued, and after the time has expired for the completion of the appropriation under the permit, or within three months after issuance of the certificate. The contest shall be brought upon application made, and hearing shall be had in the same manner and after notice as provided in ORS 537.420 (Notice of hearing) for proceedings for cancellation of permits. The department, in a final order, may cancel the permit or determine the extent to which the appropriation claimed thereunder has been perfected, and issue a water right certificate accordingly, or if a certificate has been issued, in the case of a contest within three months after its issuance, the department may cancel the water right certificate, or affirm its issuance, and if the water right certificate in such case is canceled, the permit upon which it is based shall also be canceled.


A municipality may partially perfect not less than 25 percent of the water authorized by its permit without loss of priority or cancellation of the municipality’s permit under this section. If a municipality defers perfection of its water right under this section, the department shall issue a certificate under ORS 537.250 (Water right certificate) only for the amount perfected. Upon perfection of the deferred amount, the municipality shall request a water right certificate for the remaining portion of the water applied for in the original permit application. As used in this section, “municipality” includes a city, a port formed under ORS 777.005 (Definitions for ORS 777) to 777.725 (Borrowing money to pay bonus) and 777.915 (Definitions for ORS 777) to 777.953 (Annexation), a domestic water supply district formed under ORS chapter 264 or a water authority formed under ORS chapter 450. [Amended by 1983 c.740 §211; 1985 c.673 §38; 1989 c.707 §2; 1991 c.249 §43; 1993 c.577 §35; 1995 c.416 §37]


Last accessed
May 30, 2023