Water Rights Services

Newton Consultants, Inc. specializes in water rights services and has assisted municipal, development and individual clients with water rights needs throughout the state. Some example projects are summarized below.

Oregon Water Resources Department - Reimbursement Authority
The Reimbursement Authority was established by the Oregon Legislature for use by the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) in processing a large backlog of water right transfer, extension and claim of beneficial water use applications submitted to the OWRD for processing. Newton is serving its second consecutive two-year contract term as a pool consultant to the OWRD in review and processing of these applications. Qualifications for this service are experience and knowledge of application processes and the Oregon Administrative Rules and Oregon Revised Statutes relative to water law and water rights. Through September 2007, Newton has assisted the OWRD with 47 applications from various different areas of the state.

Grants Pass, Oregon
Grants Pass Irrigation District Water Resources & Conservation Plan

The Grants Pass Irrigation District (GPID) found that the final proof survey by the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) would leave it with nearly one-half of its historical diversion rate, which was insufficient to meet its needs. The GPID applied for a new water right permit to make up the shortfall. The need for additional water was disputed by OWRD and others. Newton conducted evaluations of the GPID system and water use and established the basis for OWRD recognition of a discrepancy between allotted water and actual water need could exist. Therefore, OWRD and the GPID, with assistance from Newton, negotiated an agreement to continue historical diversions for a period of time during which GPID identifies improvements to diversion, distribution systems and water management along with plans to implement improvements. Newton conducted comprehensive evaluations and prepared the “Grants Pass Irrigation District Water Management Plan” over a five-year time period to successfully obtain the water right. Newton work included reports to an 18-person oversight committee at least four times per year and annual reports to the Oregon Water Resources Commission

Klamath County, Oregon
Driscoll Strawberries

Newton is presently providing water rights consulting services to the Driscoll Strawberry Association, Inc. in the Klamath Basin of Oregon. Services include evaluation of water rights and potential water sources, and preparation of water right amendments and claims of beneficial water use in connection with water supply for strawberry production.

Mount Hood, Oregon
Resort at the Mountain

Newton evaluated feasibility of ground water use for golf course irrigation by investigation of well logs and geology in the Salmon & Sandy River Basin, developed and applied a MODFLOW ground water model to evaluate stream depletion potential on the Salmon and Sandy Rivers, prepared a stream depletion report and assisted in obtaining a ground water right from the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Linn County, Oregon
City of Albany, Oregon

Newton prepared claims of beneficial water use and prepared water right maps for the City to obtain water right certificates for use of water in Simpson, Waverly and Timber Linn Parks. The claims involved site observations of water delivery infrastructure, determination of water delivery capacity of supply facilities, documentation of irrigation areas and calculations of irrigation system capacity. Water right maps were prepared to show the actual place of irrigation water use, delivery systems and points of water diversion from surface water sources.

Clackamas, Oregon
Reserve & Vineyard Golf Course

Irrigation water was needed for this new Reserve Golf Course and Vineyard (the Reserve) in Washington County, OR. The Tualatin Valley Irrigation District (TVID) was identified as the most viable source. Because the TVID obtains water from Henry Hagg Lake, a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) facility, the federal National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process applied to transfer of water to the Reserve for irrigation. Newton worked with the BOR, OWRD, DEQ and other special interest groups and prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) resulting in Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), allowing TVID to supply irrigation water to the Reserve. Newton also prepared water right permit applications for the project.

Multnomah County, Oregon
Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course

As part of applying for Tualatin Valley Irrigation District (TVID) irrigation water service to the new Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course and nearby farmlands in Washington County, OR, Newton conducted an Environmental Assessment (EA) in accordance with the National Enviromental Policy Act (NEPA) process. The intent of the EA was to identify potential sources of water (including the TVID) and assess the environmental impacts that could result from use of each source. The analysis included reviewing the TVID’s contractual water service agreements, available supplies and delivery operations. Extensive interaction with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), state agencies, special interest groups, golf course management, and private land owners was required. The work resulted in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) and authorization for the TVID to supply the golf course and adjacent farmlands with irrigation water.

Welches, Oregon
RRR Golf Course

In conjunction with the Salmon Valley Water Company (SVWC) in Welches, OR, Newton conducted geology and aquifer investigations, prepared transfer applications, water right maps and report of geology and aquifer conditions to successfully obtain amendments to a SVWC permit adding additional well sites.

Welches, Oregon
Mt. Hood RV Park

Newton conducted ground water feasibility investigations and assisted Mt. Hood Village near Welches, OR to obtain a ground water permit from the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Clackamas County, Oregon
Salmon Valley Water Company

Newton evaluated water rights held by the Salmon Valley Water Company (SVWC), evaluated future water needs, prepared extension application and water right map to allow completion of water supply planning and development and obtained a permit amendment adding additional well sites for ground water appropriation. Newton also consults with the SVWC and facilitates planning sessions to help account for the long-term needs of the SVWC.

Oregon Water Trust
The Oregon Water Trust (OWT) develops and implements transactions to transfer water rights back to source streams for flow restoration. Newton assisted the OWT with several projects.

Newton evaluated a proposed instream water right transfer for the Lampson Project on the Walla Walla River near Milton Freewater, OR. The evaluation included consideration of potential transfer impacts on other water rights, considerations of regulatory, administrative rules and statutes governing water uses, geology, ground water and interconnection between ground water and surface water in the river, and implications of ground water-river water relationships to the proposed transfer and injury potential. This work resulted in successful transfer of irrigation water to instream use in the river.

A conservation project was proposed by the OWT to convert flood irrigation to sprinkler irrigation on irrigated lands adjacent to Trout Creek northeast of Madras, OR. Newton evaluated the proposal for the OWT and assessed net impacts and benefit of the proposal on Trout Creek.

A proposed water right transfer to Little Creek near Union, Or by the OWT was protested and subject to a contested case hearing for decision. Newton assisted the OWT with hydrologic evaluations to demonstrate net transfer impacts on stream flow and provided testimony to help resolve the case with a successful instream transfer.

Indian Meadows Water Company
The Indian Meadow Water Company needed to increase well capacity. Newton conducted a ground water supply feasibility evaluation, designed a new well, prepared transfer applications and water right map to successfully obtain an amendment to the existing water right adding the new well as an additional point of ground water appropriation.

Deschutes County, Oregon
Deschutes Valley Water District

Newton prepared applications for ground water permit, claim of beneficial use for partial perfection of a water right permit, and transfer applications with water right maps for approval by the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Clarno, Oregon
Sluice Canyon Dam & Reservoir - John Day Ranch, LLC

The dam and reservoir are intended to store water for irrigation and wildlife. Newton prepared water right permit applications and water right maps showing point of water diversion from the source, reservoir location and place of irrigation use, and obtained permits to store water in the reservoir and to use stored water for irrigation.

Deschutes County, Oregon
Black Butte Ranch

Newton investigated degree of hydraulic connectivity between a deep aquifer proposed for water supply and shallow, overlying aquifers. The results indicated that pumping of the deep aquifer would have no significant impact on the shallow aquifers, nor would it interfere with water rights held by other water users. This investigation supported issuance of a ground water permit by the Oregon Water Resources Department. Newton evaluated all water rights held by Black Butte Ranch, prepared a plan to help optimize their use and obtained an extension of time to fully use a permit for beneficial purposes while development and water supply planning work is completed.

Crook County, Oregon
Blue Mountain Ranch

The Ranch is evaluating and upgrading its irrigation plans and systems. Newton evaluated existing water rights, assisted in water right planning, applied for and achieved extensions from the Oregon Water Resources Department to allow completion of planning and development work on ground water sources, and applied for new water storage and water use permits from the OWRD for irrigation during middle to later summer water deficiency periods. Newton is preparing design of two new off-channel reservoirs to be constructed on the Ranch for improved management of its water supply.

Deschutes County, Oregon
City of Bend

In response to growth and adoption of new ground water mitigation rules in the Deschutes Basin, the City of Bend implemented a plan to evaluate its water rights, future needs and alternatives. Newton was the prime consultant, teamed with the Deschutes River Conservancy, to develop the evaluation scope, conduct the evaluation and prepare the report “Initial Assessment of Water Supply and Mitigation Alternatives.” This work included a complete evaluation of water rights held by the City and a plan to help optimize their use, providing additional time before the City needed to apply for additional rights.

Deschutes County, Oregon
Tollgate Water Company

Newton provided the Tollgate Water Company with consultations on its water rights and prepared a water right map for a claim of beneficial water use.

Redmond, Oregon
Eagle Crest Resort

Newton conducted ground water feasibility and hydraulic connectivity investigations, conducted test well evaluations and testified on findings and conclusions to the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) to successfully obtain a new ground water permit from the OWRD.

Redmond, Oregon
Big Falls Ranch

The Ranch filed an application for a new ground water permit. Newton conducted ground water feasibility and hydraulic connectivity investigations that successfully supported issuance of a ground water permit by the Oregon Water Resources Department.

Deschutes County, Oregon
City of Redmond

Newton evaluated population growth trends, per capita water use and projected future water demands for the City out to 2055. Newton prepared a ground water permit application and water right map for additional water supply and assisted the City with related mitigation requirements. Newton also prepared applications and water right maps submitted to the Oregon Water Resources Department for water right transfers and claims of beneficial water use.

Redmond, Oregon
Thorneburg Resorts

This proposed Destination Resort in Deschutes County, OR requires ground water supply. Newton conducted ground water source feasibility evaluations, estimated water needs for full build-out, assisted in preparation of ground water permit application and water right map, and assisted with development of mitigation plan for the new ground water permit.

Multnomah County, Oregon
City of Gresham - Kelly Creek Detention Facility

This regional storm water detention facility required a permit from the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) to store water. Newton coordinated with the OWRD, prepared the water right application and map and obtained the required permits for the project.

Deschutes County, Oregon
Deschutes River Ranch

The Deschutes River Ranch implemented a water conservation project in conjunction with the Deschutes River Conservancy resulting in transfer of conserved water to instream use in the Deschutes River. The project was completed under the Oregeon Administrative Rules Chapter 690 Division 18, Allocation of Conserved Water. Newton conducted evaluations of conservation measures, estimated the amount of conserved water that could be generated, conducted engineering evaluations and design of sprinkler system and power improvements, prepared cost estimates for the improvements, and prepared water right transfer applications and water right maps for this successful project.

Klamath County, Oregon
City of Klamath Falls

Newton provided support to the firm Brown and Caldwell in water supply planning and evaluations for the City of Klamath Falls. Newton evaluated ground water rights for certain City wells and provided recommendations for additional water supply development.

Deschutes County, Oregon
Kelldano Ranch

Newton evaluated all primary and supplemental water rights held by the Ranch and provided consultation to the Ranch regarding their use. Newton also prepared an irrigation plan for the Ranch to guide use of its irrigation water rights.


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