(1) Pursuant to the requirements of subsection (2) of this section, a district may petition the Water Resources Commission for approval and acceptance of a district map indicating the location and use of the water rights within the district or any part thereof. The petition and map shall be in a form satisfactory to the commission and shall be certified by the district rather than a certified water right examiner. For a district that notifies the Water Resources Department under ORS 541.327 (4), the map must be submitted in an electronic format meeting the standards set by the department. The petition and map may not expand a water right of the district or its users beyond the total right of record of the district. If the district has met the requirements of ORS 541.325 to 541.331 and after the opportunity for hearing under ORS 541.331, the commission shall instruct the director to issue a new certificate to the district listing the requested locations and uses and retaining the original priority date. If the commission denies the petition, the commission shall hold a hearing on the denial. Notice and conduct of the hearing shall be under the provisions of ORS chapter 183 pertaining to contested cases. The hearing shall be conducted in the area where the right is located unless the parties and the persons who file the protest under this section stipulate otherwise.
(2) The petition required under subsection (1) of this section shall be submitted on or before July 1, 1994, or before June 30, 2010, for a district notifying the department under ORS 541.327 (4), and shall include:
(a) The name of the district and the certificate number of each water right contained in the petition.
(b) The names of all users within the district whose lands are included in the petition.
(c) A general description of the district boundaries.
(d) A general description of the usersí land and all water rights per each parcel affected by the petition and the map. If the water right is on a tract of land of five acres or less, a notation of the acres of water right on the assessorís tax map shall be sufficient for identification of the place of use and the extent of use.
(e) A description of the use which is proposed to be made of the water on each parcel.
(f) An affirmation by the petitioner that the map and petition are accurate to the best of the petitionerís knowledge.
(3) A petition submitted under this section shall contain no more acres of land than the least of the following:
(a) The number of acres assessed by the district as of July 1, 1989;
(b) The number of acres assessed by the district as of July 1, 1993; or
(c) If a district notifies the department under ORS 541.327 (4), the number of acres assessed by the district as of December 31, 2003.
(4) Before submitting a petition under subsection (2) of this section, the district shall send a notice to the user of every parcel whose right of record is to be altered, as evidenced by the districtís records. This notice shall be sent to the last-known address for the user with a return receipt requested. The notice shall include the number of acre-feet of water or its equivalent, for which the user is being assessed, a general description or tax lot of the land to which the water is assigned, a description of the use and a request for confirmation that the information in the notice is correct. Thirty days after the notice is mailed, the district shall prepare a petition and map as described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section. Payment for water by the user or the userís predecessor for a period of five years before the petition shall create a rebuttable presumption that the number of acres billed and paid by the user or the userís predecessor is equal to the userís water right.
(5) Within 30 days after the commission issues a proposed order regarding the petition, the district shall send notice to the users of the district whose right of record is to be altered by the proposed order. This notice shall be sent to the last-known address of the user with a return receipt requested. The notice shall include the number of acres of land, or its equivalent, for which the user is being assessed, a general description or tax lot number of the land to which the water is assigned and a description of the use. In addition to the notice of the proposed order that the district sends to the users, the district shall publish at the same time notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the area in which the water rights are located for a period of at least three weeks. Not less than one publication in each week shall be made. The notice shall state:
(a) The number of acres of water right that each parcel shall receive and the associated priority dates;
(b) That the proposed map and order are available for inspection at the office of the district during normal business hours for a period of 60 days from the date of first publication;
(c) That not less than 60 days after the date of first publication, the commission shall approve the petition and map and issue a final order unless a protest is filed or the petition does not meet the requirements of subsections (1) and (2) of this section; and
(d) That the user has the right to protest the proposed order and map as described in ORS 541.331.
(6) If the commission returns a petition or map to a district for correction, the commission may prescribe a deadline for the petitioner to provide additional information or correct the petition or map. If the petitioner fails to meet the deadline prescribed by the commission, the commission may deny the petition. [1989 c.1000 §3; 1991 c.957 §13; 1993 c.818 §3; 2003 c.691 §2]
Note: See note under 541.325.Section: Previous 541.230 541.240 541.250 541.310 541.320 541.325 541.327 541.329 541.331 541.333 541.345 541.347 541.350 541.351 541.353 Next
Last modified: August 7, 2008