Frequently Asked Questions About Our Services and
Oregon Water Right Regulations
Sure. Call John Short at Water Right Services, LLC. He happily provides information you need to understand water rights and mitigation. If you need to buy or sell water rights, Water Right Services, LLC can either act as a water right broker or buy/sell the water rights or mitigation directly.
Maybe. Specialists such as Water Right Services, LLC typically prepare and complete many more water right applications, Transfers, Beneficial Use Claims, Limited Licenses, etc than attorneys. Generally, a specialist’s experience avoids pitfalls, is faster, and costs less. Water right attorneys excel at resolving disputes between different parties including Oregon’s Water Resources Department, water users, neighbors, environmental interests and others.
Yes, but unless you intend to use the water for its authorized use, owning something like groundwater mitigation credits required for any Deschutes Basin groundwater right makes more sense.
Yes, but… in a few areas with either plentiful water or low demand, Oregon still issues water rights to those applying. However, in most areas, Oregon no longer issues new water rights. In these areas, it is typically an issue of money to purchase existing water rights that will work on your property for your application.
Yes, but generally not easily. Irrigation districts often have bulletin boards of buyers and sellers along each delivery canal. Areas around Central Oregon enjoy groundwater mitigation credits for use of well water in most areas. Water users regularly buy or lease mitigation credits.
Almost always. Unless expressly reserved unto the seller in the deed, water rights go with the land to any new owners. Owning water rights without the land is a deeper discussion.
Currently, Oregon monitors water use through both mapped water rights overlaid on Google Earth type imagery and through metering. Policing includes regulating the source off, fines, and even includes jail time.
We charge by the project. Generally, we do not charge hourly for discussing water right strategies or due diligence. Please call for quotes for our many services and water right portfolio management.
Most water right actions involve many steps including public comment periods. Initial steps often indicate success or issues of concern. Full approval generally takes 1-5 years depending on what all is being changed. Sometimes short-term solutions exist for immediate, interim, legal water use.
It totally depends on the aquifer or source, year of priority, conditions, season, etc. Even recently, some solid water rights with low demand can’t be given away. Other nearby sales have exceeded $50,000 an acre (roughly a million gallons annually).
Don’t worry. If done everything correctly, your water right remains valid as a Permit even after its expiration date. OWRD’s current five year backlog means you may not see actual newly issued certificate for quite some time. OWRD can expedite some processes at additional cost. Feel free to give Water Right Services, LLC a call if you have these type concerns to discuss.
Generally, Oregon water rights must be used for their Beneficial Use at least once every five years or risk cancellation.
If the water rights in question are part of an Oregon irrigation district, call the district in question. Irrigation districts typically do their own transfers and post a bulletin board of rights wanted and for sale.
For help with surface water rights where transfers are not done by a district and groundwater applications and transfers, call Water Right Services, LLC at 541-389-2837.
Water Right Services, LLC completes Claims of Beneficial Use for water right Permits or Transfers. Deadlines apply. PLEASE don’t wait until the last minute as failure to meet some conditions constitutes a fatal flaw resulting in water right cancellation!
YES! Oregon cancels multiple water rights each year. Unfortunately, with such long timelines, people forget deadlines, ownership changes, spouses die, etc. I sadly watched a medium size city loose a water right equal to its annual water use because they didn’t realize the water right came with land they acquired. I also see OWRD cancel water rights for not drilling wells soon enough or simply drilling in other than authorized locations.
If you intend to use any surface water (from a stream, river or creek) or well water for more than domestic use and up to 1/2 acre of lawn or non-commercial garden.