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Fish Persistence and Municipal Water Rights Extensions
January 15, 2015

By Diane Lenkowsky

For the first time, the Oregon Court of Appeals reviewed conditions for fish persistence placed on extensions to a municipal water permit. The 2005 law requires the Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD) to condition future development of municipal water rights on the protection of specifically identified fish.The court ruled WRD had not satisfied that law when it granted a municipal permit extension for withdrawal from the lower Clackamas River.
 
The court ruled that WRD did not show how its conditions on the future additional water withdrawals would ensure sufficient water remained in the river for the protected fish and instructed WRD to bring the conditions into compliance to ensure that fish persistence levels are maintained.
 
Municipal water right extensions are becoming more and more difficult to obtain, and a more detailed Water Alert will be up on our web site soon.
 



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