VOTE: YES – Died In committee
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2018R1/Measures/Overview/HB4016
Committee assigned to bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2018R1/Committees/HEE/Overview
This bill authorizes Tulelake Irrigation Districts holding claims within the Klamath Project to transfer place of use to other land within the district.
Personal Choice and Responsibility
Water rights are central to farming and essential to the survival of rural Oregon. Denying water rights shouldn’t even be a question for consideration.
There already exists a valid water right that goes back before the first Water Code in 1909 that is being adjudicated. Decreed, or certificated, water rights are eligible to go through a transfer to change how that water right is used. Not knowing how long the judicial phase of the adjudication will proceed, in 2015, Senate Bill 206 was passed to allow holders of determined claims in the Klamath Basin Adjudication to apply to temporarily transfer their determined claims through a process similar to a regular temporary transfer. House Bill 4016 seeks to allow the Klamath Project districts with determined claims to utilize a process similar to the Irrigation District Pilot Project. It requires the transferred use to continue to be used for irrigation and prohibits the land from which the determined claim is temporarily removed from receiving any water during the irrigation season. Authorizes the Water Resources Department to require the transfer to cease and revert only if: water is being used in a manner that violates certain requirements; transfer would result in injury; transfer would result in an enlargement of the determined claim; or court stays the determined claim.
The purpose for allowing temporary transfers of determined claims is to provide a tool for the holders of those claims to exercise the claim while the adjudication is pending.