Wednesday - November 27, 2013

Lake Oswego Review: Water Fight on Clackamas River Continues

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Published: November 27, 2013.

The case has made its way from the Oregon Water Resources Department and an administrative law judge to the Oregon Court of Appeals, where attorneys made their arguments before Judges Rex Armstrong, James C. Egan and Lynn R. Nakamoto.

Defendants include the Oregon Water Resources Department, which administers water rights permits; the South Fork Water Board, which serves Oregon City and West Linn; and a group of municipal water providers that includes Lake Oswego, with Tigard signed on as an intervener.

Because these permits are the first to come up for renewal since fish protections became a required part of the process, the court’s decision now could set the stage for how similar cases are handled in the future on rivers across Oregon.

Under a law approved by the 2005 Legislature, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife gives advice on how to maintain “fish persistence,” or how to protect species on rivers, before water rights for utilities are approved. The Oregon Water Resources Department can restrict water rights based on ODFW’s input. Before 2005, fish persistence wasn’t a required factor in the process.

Open link to external content