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September 18, 2007


As if we need another reason to vote for Measure 49.........here it is.

Oregon water law permits property owners to drill wells for domestic purposes, defined as less than 15,000 gallons per day (you heard that right!) with NO PERMIT. The driller must simply file a "start card" with the Oregon Department of Water Resources, and off you go.

Why is this relevant? Because the state has essentially no information about what are called "exempt" uses and almost no ability to keep track of, or control those uses. ALL measure 37 developments, with very rare exceptions, will utilize this exemption, because it is essentially a loophole. As a result, we will see hundreds, if not thousands of cases of water conflicts between M. 37 developments and neighbors if M. 49 does not pass and all of these 7,500 claims go forward.

On the plus side, M. 49 prohibits M. 37 claims of more than three houses in critical and limited groundwater areas, or areas that the state has determined already have serious groundwater depletion issues. That will go a long way towards avoiding the loss of our water resources and protect existing residents from losing their water supplies.

If you disagree with the above, I suggest you cite to a section of Oregon water law that requires any state oversight of domestic wells. Good luck - it does not exist!

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