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Services > CWRE Certified Water Right Examiner

CWRE - Certified Water Rights Examiners

Oregon Law

Under Oregon law, all water is publicly owned. With some exceptions, cities, farmers, factory owners and other users must obtain a permit or water right from the Water Resources Department to use water from any sourceó whether it is underground, or from lakes or streams. Landowners with water flowing past, through, or under their property do not automatically have the right to use that water without a permit from the Department.

Obtaining a Water Right - 3 Step Process

In the state of Oregon, water rights are obtained in a three-step process.
  1. The applicant must apply to the Department for a permit to use water.
  2. Once a permit is granted, the applicant must construct a water system and begin using water.
  3. When water is applied, the permit holder must hire a certified water rights examiner to complete a survey of water use and submit to the Department a map and report detailing how and where water is being applied.
If water has been used according to the provisions of the permit, a water right certificate is issued based upon the report findings.

Water Right Transfers

There is growing interest in the state in the use of the water right transfer process as a tool to secure water to support growth and streamflow restoration. Transfers provide a method to change the point of diversion or appropriation, the place of use, or the beneficial use of the right from that for which the right was originally issued. The water right holder must obtain approval of a water right transfer from the Water Resources Department before making any of these changes.

The water right holder initiates the water right transfer review process by completing and filing an application form. For more information about our Certified Water Right Examination Services, please feel free to contact us.

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