Here is an informed response to Commissioner Parry's plan for The Johnson Pond
The pond is only for sorting logs. I don't know if the right is still valid since it may have been longer than 5 years since the right was used for the intended purpose. In order for water to be taken out of the pond for any
use, water rights will be needed by anyone "buying" water from the Co. The right to store will need to be changed thru the transfer process to something that will fit those uses. I have suggested the Co. change the right to store to multi purpose, so any secondary rights will be acceptable.
The transfer will take 1 to 1.5 years, barring any protests. The secondary rights to take water out will likewise take about the same time frame. If protests are filed, and they can be by anyone, it may be years. I know of
several State-wide that hae been tied up in protests for 15 years.
The storage limit is 491 acre feet, once each year. As a public entity, the Co. will be required to meter and report their water use to the Dept. annually. More than likely so will anyone using the water out of the
The market value Cam talks of, in my opinion, isn't there. The south coast actually has a large surplus of water, and not many places where water could be used that is, in fact, arable, and not already covered by existing rights.
So, barring protests, I don't see any money, or water, changing hands prior to 2015. In addition, as a public entity, the County can only recoup their expenses, they cannot by law make a profit.
Finally, any water lines that cross other property lines will need easement or access agreements. Proof of those agreements will need to be provided along with any and all applications in order for them to be processed.
I've explained all this to all 3 commissioner's more than once. At this time, there is no legal definition of water banking in Oregon water law.
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