Oregon Water Resources Department

Oregon Water Resources Department

Oregon Water Resources Department

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<!-- Deleted image removed: -->The Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD) is the chief regulatory agency of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon responsible for management of all surface and ground water in the state, which by statute belongs to the public. The department’s primary activities include protection of existing water rights, facilitation of voluntary streamflow restoration, public education about the state’s water resources, collection and dissemination of water resource data, and facilitation of water supply solutions.

Following unsuccessful attempts at water rights management as early as 1897, and inability to adequately implement the 1894 federal Carey act, the Oregon Legislative Assembly established the office of State Engineer in 1905, and as the Water Act of 1909 which dedicated all ground and surface waters to the public. Also in 1909, a comprehensive code of water laws were adopted. recommendations of several task forces and study groups over several years. Over the years, a number of boards, agencies and bureaus were established, specifically or as part of a broader mandate, to address particular water supply related issues ranging from the Desert Lands Board to the Willamette Basin Commission. In 1987, the present-day Water Resources Department was created to enable a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to water policy.<ref name="WRD...
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