Dividing the Waters

Water Rights Legislation


  • As one of Oregon’s largest growers of ornamental nursery stock, our client (a wholesale nursery business) has operations extending over thousands of acres on multiple properties.  All operations require the availability of a legal, reliable supply of water.
  • Oregon law did not provide for split ownership of water rights permits.
  • The business needed assistance to establish sole ownership over a water right permit held by multiple property owners in order to protect the water rights essential to their continued operation.


  • The Jordan Ramis team worked with the Oregon Department of Water Resources and interest groups to develop, lobby, and pass state legislation enabling landowners such as our client to split ownership of a shared water rights permit with other landowners.
  • Following passage of the bill, the Jordan Ramis team remained involved throughout the agency rulemaking process to make sure that the new tool was successfully implemented.


  • Jordan Ramis achieved passage of SB 200 (2013), allowing for multiple landowners to split the ownership of a water rights permit.
  • Our client is now able to gain sole ownership of its water rights, allowing it to make key management and business decisions.