Agriculture in Hood River County is a $40 million industry and has a positive influence on the state and national economy. A carefully developed water conservation program will help to enhance agricultural economic stability.
Category 1 – “Mapped but cannot be irrigated”: These are water rights on a property that cannot be used because they are underneath buildings, driveways, or other structures. District Staff usually adjusts for these water rights at the time that Building Permits are signed off, but, for whatever reason, not all of these water rights have been properly removed. This category also includes forested areas. Nearly 400 of these areas have been identified. To avoid being charged for these water rights and to protect District water rights, these water rights should be removed from these areas as soon as possible.
Category 2 – “Mapped but not irrigated”: These are areas on a property that have valid water rights, but, for whatever reason, the owner has not applied irrigation water. These areas represent valid irrigation rights, but, if the property is not irrigated for five consecutive years, the water rights are subject to forfeiture. Nearly 300 of these properties have been identified. These lands should be irrigated in order to protect the water right. If the water right is no longer desired, then the owner of the water right may transfer the water right off of the land.
Category 3 – “Not mapped but irrigated”: These are areas where a property owner is applying water on land that has no associated District water right. Some of these properties may have other water rights registered with the State of Oregon and not through Farmers Irrigation District. Nearly 200 of these properties have been identified. It may be possible to apply for additional District water rights with which to irrigate these pieces of land.
FID is in the process of verifying the above determinations. Once this is complete, property owners will be contacted to make the necessary corrections. If you are a property owner and know that one of the categories applies to you, please contact our District Water Rights Specialist, Rick Brock, at 541.387.5261 for an appointment. Rick will be happy to discuss various options with you.