ORS 536.700-780 and OAR 690-019-0040(1) authorize the Director, after the Governor declares that a severe, continuing drought exists, to issue emergency-use permits to replace water not available under an existing right because of the drought. Each application must be for use in a designated drought area.
Click here for Permit application and Processing.
Below is a copy of the letter OWRD has mailed out to applicants:
It seems that 2021 is heading towards yet another year of limited water availably. We can all hope for lots of snow over the next few months, but preparation just in case will be helpful.
We are contacting you because you have applied for an emergency drought groundwater permit in a prior year when the governor declared a drought in Klamath County. The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) can’t accept or approve drought permits in advance of a drought declaration for Klamath County. However, our watermaster office staff can assist water users with preparing the applications.
For 2021, there are three new conditions that will need to be met as part of a new drought groundwater permit. First, a functioning totalizing flow meter will need to be installed on each well prior to permit issuance, and field staff will visit each well to confirm compliance. If your well does not have a totalizing flow meter installed, please work with a contractor/vendor to get that done prior to applying. Second, while onsite, field staff will try to measure the static groundwater level in each drought well. Measurements of groundwater use and groundwater levels help us better understand the groundwater resource and how the aquifer system responds to groundwater pumping over the years. Third, each application will need to include a new map with an accurate well location for each drought well.
Ivan Gall has been sharing this information with the local irrigation districts and Klamath Water Users Association and is encouraging us all to work together to expedite applications. Michelle, at the Watermaster’s office is a great resource and has helped most of you in the past with your applications. I encourage you to contact Michelle at 541-883-4182 as soon as possible to make an appointment.
Please do not hesitate to call the Watermaster’s office if we can be of any assistance.
Dani Watson, District 17 Watermaster Ivan Gall, Field Services Division Administrator
305 Main Street 725 Summer St NE, Suite A
Klamath Falls, OR 97601 Salem, OR 97301-1266