HB 2134: Umatilla Basin Water Exchange
Oregon Water Resources Department
April 14, 2011
• A look at the proposed language
• The goal of the broader Umatilla Basin Aquifer
Recovery Project is to improve water supplies in
the Umatilla Basin critical groundwater areas.
• Having identified two of the best groundwater
recharge sites in the Umatilla Basin, get water
on these locations at the lowest possible cost,
while maintaining protections for existing and
instream water rights.
# 76669 & 82596
A Look at Proposed Language (HB 2134-3)
Add to ORS 540.533, the “Exchange Statute,” the following:
1) Expand definition of person holding a water right, certificate, or
permit to include a person who “holds a permit issued under
ORS 537.135 for recharging ground water within the
2) Expand conditions under which the above can apply for an
exchange, if the person develops water for appropriation
under…“the permit for recharging ground water,” but cannot
economically convey the water to its point of use.
3) Expand required application materials to include: “For
persons holding a permit issued under ORS 537.135 for
recharging ground water in the Umatilla Basin evidence to
the satisfaction of the Water Resources Director that the
exchange will result in no net loss of flow in the Umatilla
Already in statute & rule:
• Conduct an exchange of water that is of equal amount.
See ORS 540.533.
• Protect the Columbia River by processing new water
right applications using WRD’s Division 33 standards.
These limitations carry over into an exchange as well.
• Public Process ~
– For new water right applications, see Division 310 re notice,
comment, and protests.
– For exchange applications, see ORS 540.535 re notice, and
Division 380 re public comment, negotiations, and hearings.
Set forth in a future exchange order:
• Instream rights in the Umatilla River are protected by
WRD…maintain these instream protections by
including conditions in the exchange order.
• Require measurement and reporting in order to
carefully manage the exchange.
• In the event the exchange ends, permitees would have
up to 5 years to develop water rights for lands
identified in the original permit, or face cancellation.