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Home > State > Executive > Water Resources Department > Agency Subdivisions

Water Resources Department: Agency Subdivisions

The North Capitol Mall Office Building in Salem houses the central offices of the Water Resources Department. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

The North Capitol Mall Office Building in Salem houses the central offices of the Water Resources Department. (Oregon State Archives Photo)

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Director’s Office
Contact: Thomas J. Paul
The Director’s Office develops and supervises policies and programs to ensure that water management practices follow Oregon Water Law, updates the state’s Integrated Water Resources Strategy, oversees the Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, and serves as the principal contact with the Legislature and stakeholder groups.

Field Services Division
Contact: Doug Woodcock
The Field Services Division enforces the state’s water laws and implements the Water Resources Commission’s policies by regulating water use based upon the water rights of record, assisting in the development of long-term water supply and conservation plans, inspecting wells and dams, and collecting hydrologic data for staff and public planning.

Water Right Services Division
Contact: Dwight French
Most Oregon water users must apply for and receive a water right before beginning water use. The Water Right Services Division evaluates water right applications and the issuance of water right permits and certificates. The division also processes water use licenses, drought-related water use permits, hydroelectric permits, and water right extensions and transfers. The division adjudicates water right claims that pre-date the 1909 water code, as well as federal and tribal rights.


Water Resources Commission
Address: 725 Summer St. NE, Suite A, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-986-0900
Contact: Cindy Smith, Commission Assistant
Statutory Authority: ORS 536.022

Duties and Responsibilities: The seven-member Water Resources Commission oversees WRD activities and sets policy consistent with state law. Through WRD, the commission authorizes diversions and appropriations of surface and ground water; issues and records permits, licenses and certificates allowing use of water; establishes instream water rights; and determines critical ground water areas.

Ground Water Advisory Committee
Address: 725 Summer St. NE, Suite A, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-986-0900
Contact: Ivan Gall, Department Liaison; Rob Turkisher, Chair
Statutory Authority: ORS 536.090


Duties and Responsibilities: The Groundwater Advisory Committee’s nine members, appointed by the Water Resources Commission, represent a range of interests and expertise. The committee, established by the Legislature in 1977, advises the commission and WRD on matters relating to rules, legislation and public policy on groundwater and the licensing of well constructors. The committee reviews the proposed expenditure of revenues generated from start card fees collected by WRD prior to a well construction. These fees are used to pay for well inspections.

Klamath River Basin Compact
Address: 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls 97603
Phone: 541-880-2576
Contact: Debra Crisp, Chair, Klamath Falls, federal government representative; Tom Byler, Oregon
representative; Curtis Anderson, California representative

Statutory Authority: 542.610

Duties and Responsibilities: Members of the Klamath River Basin Compact facilitate inter-governmental cooperation to assist in the development and proper use of the water resources of the Klamath River Basin.

Western States Water Council
Address: 5296 S. Commerce Dr., Suite 202, Murray, UT 84107
Phone: 801-685-2555
Contact: Tony Willardson, Executive Director

Duties and Responsibilities: Created in 1965, the Western States Water Council works to accomplish effective cooperation among western states in the conservation, development and management of water resources. The council consists of representatives appointed by the governors of 18 western states. Member states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.


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