Corporations for Irrigation, Drainage, Water Supply or Flood Control

ORS 554.080
Corporate existence

  • powers of corporation

When the articles of incorporation are filed by the Secretary of State, the corporation is deemed to be established and has the power:


To sue and be sued.


To contract and be contracted with.


To have, use and alter a corporate seal.


To purchase, condemn by the power of eminent domain, possess and dispose of real and personal property as necessary and convenient to carry out the purposes of the corporation, and to take, hold, possess and dispose of all real and personal property donated to the corporation to carry out the purposes of the corporation.


To appoint subordinate officers, employees and agents as the corporation requires, and prescribe their duties and compensation.


To make, establish or amend bylaws, rules and regulations, not inconsistent with the laws of the state, the articles of incorporation, or the covenants and provisions of the landowners’ notice provided in ORS 554.170 (Covenants by landowners) to 554.190 (Recording notice), if any is filed, prescribing the manner and mode of conducting the business of the corporation, distributing and using water in domestic use, irrigating land, using any drainage or flood control works, collecting and treating sewage and enforcing the collection of rates, tolls, charges, fees, fines and assessments. Bylaws, rules and regulations must be ratified by two-thirds of the votes of the members of the corporation.


To prescribe, fix, make and charge and collect from the water users or those who receive the benefits of the corporation, rates, tolls, fees, fines and charges for maintenance and operation of the corporation, use of water or for the works of the corporation, or for violation of any of the bylaws, rules and regulations of the corporation. The rates, tolls, fines, fees and charges shall be a lien on the crops produced as prescribed in ORS 545.275 (Lien on crops for water supplied for irrigation), and may be a lien upon the land to which the water was furnished, or benefit was provided, as prescribed in ORS 554.135 (Alternative method for collecting assessments).


To make, levy and collect assessments either ratably or in proportion to the benefits received as provided by the bylaws or recorded landowners’ notice, upon the lands described in the articles of incorporation to fund the corporation for any purpose, including maintenance and operation, estimated delinquencies on assessments, principal and interest of maturing indebtedness, and reserve necessary or provided by the bylaws, subject to the limitations, restrictions and provisions of the recorded landowners’ notice. [Amended by 1987 c.94 §148; 1991 c.459 §432d; 2013 c.284 §2]

Notes of Decisions

Corporation incorporated under this chapter has power to improve and repair irrigation ditches and to enter land of members for that purpose. Davis v. Nye Ditch Users Improvement District, 247 Or App 266, 268 P3d 778 (2011)

Chapter 554

Notes of Decisions

Water improvement district formed under this chapter is unit of government for purposes of filing suit under ORS 305.583, but is not "governmental unit" within meaning of section 11b, Article XI of Oregon Constitution. Comeaux v. Water Wonderland Improvement Dist., 12 OTR 132 (1992), aff'd 315 Or 562, 847 P2d 841 (1993)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Authority of State Land Board to enter into nonprofit water supply district corporation, (1978) Vol 38, p 2199


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021