Water users alerted on broad new regulations, fees

By Helen Moore,
Water for Life,

The liberals in the Oregon Legislature are intent on monitoring and measuring your water rights and adding taxes and fees to its use.  Water for Life is monitoring a dozen bills that will in one way or another have an adverse impact on irrigated agriculture.  Following is a brief summary of a few of the bills and contact information for the responsible legislative committee:

•    SB 482 Creates an overlay zone to protect municipal water supplies. If passed the measure would create a new layer of government dictating what you can store and use on your property within the protection zone.  The bill also requires individual domestic groundwater systems to obtain a permit to use water and obtain a report from the Water Resources Dept that there is no interference with current use.  Additionally, an on-site septage disposal system inspection program requiring inspection of all septic systems will be implemented.

•    SB 740 Charges an annual fee of $100 to every holder of a water right set forth in water right permit, certificate or limited license, except in-stream rights. If passed this would charge a fee on every water right you hold.

The Senate Committee on Environment & Natural Resources is currently assigned these bills:
Jackie Dingfelder, Chair     [email protected]
Jason Atkinson        [email protected]
Brian Boquist        [email protected]
Mark Hass        [email protected]
Floyd Prozanski        [email protected]

•    HB 3441 Requires measurement and reporting by water users of surface water diversions.  This is a repeat of last session’s efforts requiring micro-management of water.
•    HB 3442 Requires agricultural water users to submit reports to Water Resources Dept showing that water use has been measured before apply for certain grants, loans, permits and licenses.

The House Committee on Environment and water is hearing these bills:
Ben Cannon, Chair    [email protected]
Vic Gilliam        [email protected]
Jefferson Smith        [email protected]
Jules Bailey        [email protected]
Phil Barnhart        [email protected]
Cliff Bentz        [email protected]
Deborah Boone        [email protected]
Bob Jenson        [email protected]

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