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When I was about 5-years old, my Dad told me the day would come when good clean water would be worth more than gold—I laughed and called him a crazy old man!. 1. 2. Allocation of Conserved Water Program Presented By Dwight French. 3. Program Overview. Voluntary program

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Allocation of Conserved Water Program Presented By Dwight French

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When I was about 5-years old, my Dad told me the day would come when good clean water would be worth more than gold—I laughed and called him a crazy old man!


program overview
Program Overview
  • Voluntary program
  • The program is intended to provide incentives to encourage water users to improve the efficiency of their irrigation systems.
  • Allows use of “conserved water” for other purposes:
    • Portion for applicant to use on other lands, etc.
    • Portion to state for instream right
  • Provides more water for the ecosystem without any impairment to water users


what is an allocation of conserved water project
What is an Allocation of Conserved Water Project?

Allocation of Conserved Water (ACW) Projects are physical improvements to the water delivery or application systems, which improve the efficiency of the system and result in a measurable quantity of “conserved water.”


common acw projects
Common ACW Projects

Delivery System Projects

  • Installation of headgates
  • Locating the diversion closer to the place of use
  • lining ditches and canals
  • Addition variable speed, variable pressure or booster pumps
  • Additional meters, valves, flow controls
  • Remote monitoring, control and leak detection systems

Application System Projects

  • Converting Flood to Sprinkler System
  • Upgrading the type of sprinkler system
  • High pressure to low pressure, low flow
  • Replacing large sprinklers with low flow drop tube
  • Moisture monitoring systems


what is conserved water



What is Conserved Water?

The amount of water that results from conservation measures, measured as the difference between:

  • the smaller of the amount stated on the water right or the maximum amount of water that can be diverted using the existing facilities; and
  • the amount of water needed after implementation of conservation measures


the acw program benefits
The ACW Program Benefits
  • The Applicant
  • Agriculture
  • The Community
  • The Environment


benefits to applicant
Benefits to Applicant

In the absence of this law, water users would not be entitled to use any conserved water to meet new needs.

ACW projects provide economic return on efficiency improvements by:

  • Allowing water for use on

additional lands

  • Allowing for new uses of water
  • Allowing for the sale or lease of

conserved water


agricultural benefits
Agricultural Benefits

Often provides the only way land owners can apply water to new lands

  • Provides water for dry land
  • Reduces field erosion and reduces runoff liability
  • Cuts down on costs
    • Reduction of power costs
    • Reduction of fertilizer quantity
    • Reduction of labor costs associated

with moving hand lines and

managing flood irrigation ditches


community benefits
Community Benefits

Provides opportunity for boost in local economy and creation of jobs

Conservation of a scarce resource for future generations

Enhances Instream Public Uses

enhances instream public uses
Enhances Instream Public Uses


  • Conservation, aquatic and fish life, wildlife, fish and wildlife habitat

Pollution abatement


why the program works
Why the Program Works

The ACW program works because it provides new benefits to the water user, the environment and the public without detriment to existing water uses. Division of the conserved wateris generally:

  • 75% applicant choice:
    • Use of water on additional lands
  • 25% goes to State:
    • receives instream water right


who gets what
Who Gets What?

How much water does the applicant get to keep?

  • Allocation of the conserved water depends on a few factors:
    • Amount of non-reimbursable funding received from Federal or State government
    • Amount of water, if

any, needed to

mitigate injury

allocation of conserved water
Allocation of Conserved Water

Allocation formula

* The applicant may agree to receive a lesser amount of the conserved water to donate or sell for instream use

allocation of conserved water1
Allocation of Conserved Water

* The applicant may choose to donate, lease or sell a greater portion of the conserved water for instream use

the split calculation
The Split Calculation
  • Total quantity of conserved water reduced to mitigate for injury, if necessary
  • At a minimum, 25% of the remaining conserved water is returned to the State as an instream water right. Pro-rated reduction for public funds
    • Portion of project funded by the public, if any becomes the new instream water right
    • Only non-reimbursable public funds counted
  • The remaining portion of conserved water is available for the applicant’s choice of use
    • The applicant is always entitled at least 25% of the conserved water
the split calculation1
The Split Calculation
  • The total quantity of conserved water is reduced by:
    • Quantity of water required to mitigate injury
    • After mitigation for injury, the remaining portion is reduced the portion of public funds used to finance the project
  • The remaining portion of goes to the applicant
mitigate for injury
Mitigate for Injury
  • Before any conserved water may be applied to any new use the applicant must ensure the project will not injure any other water right
    • Injury occurs when the project results in any reduction in the quantity of water that would have been legally available to another user if the project had not been performed
    • Mitigation is the reduction in the quantity of conserved water required to prevent injury
state s share
State’s Share
  • After mitigating for injury, if required
  • The State is entitled to a minimum of 25% plus the percentage of any public money used to fund the project
    • Only State and Federal non-reimbursable funds are counted
    • Public funds reduction capped at 75%
    • Even if 100% of the project cost is from public funds, the applicant is entitled to a minimum of 25% of the conserved water.
applicant s share
Applicant’s Share
  • After reductions to mitigate for injury; and
  • Reductions to account for the State’s Share
  • The remaining quantity of conserved water is may be used according to the applicant’s preference of:
    • New place of use
    • New character of use
allocation schematic
Allocation Schematic

Original Right

10 cfs

Applicant’s Share

Conserved Water




6 cfs

4 cfs

0.75 cfs

1 cfs

Instream Right

Conserved Water

Remaining Right

Mitigation to prevent injury (if needed)

allocation schematic1
Allocation Schematic

Original Right

30.0 AF

Applicant’s Share

Conserved Water




20.0 AF

10.0 AF

2.25 AF

0.0 AF

Instream Right

Conserved Water

Remaining Right

Mitigation to prevent injury (if needed)

choice of priority date
Choice of Priority Date
  • The applicant may choose either of the following priority dates for the conserved water:
    • One minute junior to the

originating right; or

    • The same as the originating right
  • Both the new use and instream rights must have the same priority
who can apply generally
Who Can Apply Generally?
  • Any person or group of persons holdinga water use subject to transfer as defined in ORS 540.505 may submit an application
  • If a person proposes conservation measures within the boundaries of a district, the person must also submit evidence that the district has approved the application

Best to submit application prior to starting project

But applications may be submitted up to 5-years after implementation of conservation measures

allocation of conserved water process
Allocation of Conserved Water Process

WRD Goal: Proposed Final Order within 9 months

WRD Review

Application Submittal

Proposed Final Order

Final Order

Public Notice2 weeksin local newspaper

Protests & Protest Resolution

Public Comment

35 DayComment Period

60 Day Protest Period


Please contact Kody Thurgood for more information:

  • Call: (503) 986-0892
  • Email: