The state of Oregon has a great water right background publication called the Aquabook
For the transferring and placement of water within the Santiam Water Control District please refer to the following;
The use of water under a water right is restricted to the terms and conditions described in the water right certificate: place of use, point of diversion or appropriation, and type of use. For example, if a water right holder establishes the right to irrigate a particular 20-acre tract of land from a specified water source, the water cannot be diverted from a different point or source, nor can it be used to irrigate other land without permission. It cannot be used for any other purpose than the type of use indicated in the water right. The District as water right holder is required to file a transfer application with the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) to change a point of diversion, point of appropriation, type of use, place of use, or any combination of these.
The Santiam Water Control District (SWCD or District) is the holder of a water right or permit that allows or will allow irrigation of your property. When water rights are placed on your property, SWCD is required by law to enter into a water delivery contract (Contract) with the landowner to establish the general terms of our relationship. The Contract customarily requires the District to deliver and the landowner to beneficially use irrigation water, among other terms. Once contracted a user is responsible to pay district assessments for the term of the contract or until a successful transfer of water rights is completed, only then will a landowner be fully relieved of their obligation to pay assessments.
The District has several transfer processes available to use under state law, both temporary (up to five years) and permanent in nature. All transfer processes have individual forms and rules applicable to each differing slightly depending on specifics. All transfers require the approval of both the District and landowner. The formality of the state application and review process increases with the permanency of the transfer Only certain water rights are valid to transfer. Permits and transfers that have not been issued a Final Order by the OWRD are examples of rights not subject to transfer as they are in an unfinished process already. Often the District will proceed with a temporary transfer to allow the change to
immediately take place while a concurrent permanent transfer is being applied for.
Prior to accepting a request to transfer water rights the District must ensure that;
1. The rights are valid and subject to transfer.
2. All assessments due to the District are current. Transfer fees or deposits must be paid.
3. You are responsible for notifying your Lender of the removal of the water right and complying with any requirement of the Lender. SWCD bears no responsibility to the Lender.
Only the current deeded property owner can remove water rights from a property. All deeded legal owners must sign and approve a request to transfer off, if a trust or other legal entity is on the deed proof of authorization to sign for the entity must be provided.
If you are contemplating selling your property and wish to transfer or remove the water right before the sale, you must sign a water conveyance agreement (prepared by the District and recorded against the property) BEFORE you close escrow.
The following is a list to describe the general process and items we will need from you in order to process a transfer.
Transfer off checklist
◊Notify all landowners, lienholders, and others with property interests
◊Water right must be legally ready to transfer- permits, transfers needing finalized and other processes in action must be fully completed.
◊A copy of the property deed.
◊Proof of authority to sign for any entity named on deed. ( trusts, corporations, homeowner associations, farm entities)
◊Quitclaim Deed Form – (permanent transfer off) transferring interest in the water right back to the District. Signed by all legal landowners.
◊ Pilot process consent to transfer form – (temporary on or off, 5-year max) SB 267 pilot process temporary transfer consent form
OWRD Affidavit of use – attesting water has been used in the last five years on all of the area requested to be transferred. If it is unknown if the water has been used in the last five years, the landowner must first use water for beneficial use on all lands wished to be transferred off. Acknowledgement that Access easements, other prescriptive or recorded rights are not extinguished by giving up the water rights.
All District fees, liens and application fees must be paid in full.
Landowner may need to submit follow up documents as requested by OWRD or the district, a permanent transfer can take many years to finalize.
If only PART OF THE WATER RIGHTS are being transferred off, a map will need to be completed through the District’s GIS software-subjected to a $150 mapping fee / lot-line adjustment fee, due at the time of service.
Transfer on checklist
◊ Water use request form
◊ A copy of the property deed.
◊ All District fees, liens and application fees must be paid in full.
◊Temporary transfer contract – temporary contract to be in place until a permanent transfer and contract is completed.
◊ Landowner must use water on all the acreage before a transfer can be finalized.
◊ Landowner may need to submit follow up documents as requested by OWRD or the district, a permanent transfer can take many years to finalize.