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Water Rights and Making Changes to Your Operations

We realize that many water users are making changes to their farming practices. It is imperative that you discuss any changes that will affect how you use your irrigation water. We must comply with state laws and federal regulations. Under ORS 540.510 only lands that are designated as irrigable can have water applied to them. The District has noticed many of those switching to pivot operations are now watering ground that does not have water rights; this is against both state and federal law. There are options for you to move your water rights to cover the non-irrigated ground.

This rule also applies to land that has water rights but is not being irrigated. Under ORS 540.610 irrigation water must be applied to beneficial use within a five (5) year period, or those rights are subject to forfeit.

It is crucial that if you are making changes to your operation, watering land without water rights, or have land that does have water rights but is not being irrigated, please contact Kris or Brittany at the main office, so that we may discuss the options available to you.

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