Water Resources Department

North Capitol Mall Office Building
The North Capitol Mall Office Building in Salem houses the central offices of the Water Resources Department. (Oregon State Archives Scenic Image 20080324-0034​)

Present Duties

The Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) is charged with administering the laws governing the management and distribution of Oregon’s surface and groundwater resources. OWRD protects existing water rights, processes water right transactions, facilitates voluntary streamflow restoration, increases understanding of demands on the state’s water resources, provides accurate and accessible water resource data and facilitates water supply solutions. The department also protects public health and safety through its dam safety and well construction programs.

Department headquarters and the Northwest Regional office are located in Salem. The department also has four other regional offices and 15 small field offices throughout Oregon.​
Agency Website

Agency Subdivisions

Information about this agency's divisions, offices, and ​programs.

Contact Information

Telephone: 503-986-0900
Fax: 503-986-0904
Contact: Doug Woodcock, Acting Director
Administrative Rules Coordinator: See Contact List for Water Resources​

Legal & Legislative Information

Statutory Authority: ORS 536, 537, 538, 540, 541, 542, 543, 543A

Budget Analysis - by Legislative Fiscal Office
Audit Reports - select agency from menu

Records & Publications​

Records Retention Schedule - a list of the public records kept at the agency

State Archives Holdings from This Agency

The following are selected abbreviated listings from the holdings of the Oregon State Archives. Additional records may be available. These records may be viewed free of charge at the State Archives Building in Salem. Copies are available for a fee. Take the Web tour for more information about visiting or ordering copies from the Oregon State Archives.
Title: Administrative Correspondence and Reports
Dates: 1972-1983
Cubic Ft.: 1.8
Title: Administrative Rules Review Records
Dates: 1975-1977
Cubic Ft.: .2
Title: Arid land Records
Dates: 1905-1936
Volumes: 1
Title: Certificates of Proof
Dates: 1909-1955
Cubic Ft.: .25
Title: Columbia Southern Irrigating Company Case Records, Fiscal Records, Three Sisters
Dates: 1893 - 1916
Cubic Ft.: 5.75
Title: Desert Land Board Reclamation Records
Dates: 1901-1978
Cubic Ft.: 17.75
Title: Desert Land Board Records
Dates: 1903-1940
Cubic Ft.: 1
Title: Hydroelectric Commission Minutes
Dates: 1931-1961
Cubic Ft.: .5
Volumes: 2
Title: Hydroelectric Commission Peoples' Utility District Records
Dates: 1931-1968
Cubic Ft.: 7.35
Title: Hydroelectric Project Records
Dates: 1960-1987
Cubic Ft.: 18.9
Title: Irrigation and Drainage Securities Commission Minutes
Dates: 1917-1927
Cubic Ft.: .25
Title: Publications
Dates: 1956-1988
Cubic Ft.: 4.05
Title: Reclamation Commission Records
Dates: 1926-1958
Cubic Ft.: .6
Title: Reclamation Commission Minutes
Dates: 1927 - 1955
Volumes: 3
Title: State Engineer Records
Dates: 1905-1954
Cubic Ft.: .5
Title: Survey Records Books
Dates: 1920-1924
Cubic Ft.: 12
Title: United States Geological Survey Cooperative Agreements
Dates: 1905-1955
Cubic Ft.: .6
Title: Upper Columbia River Basin Commission Records
Dates: 1952-1956
Cubic Ft.: 4.15
Title: Water Policy Review Board Records
Dates: 1975-1984
Cubic Ft.: 3.35
Title: Water Resources Board Members (Emery N. Castle) Records
Dates: 1960-1973
Cubic Ft.: 2
Title: Water Resources Board Minutes
Dates: 1955-1975
Cubic Ft.: 1.65
Title: Water Resources Board Records
Dates: 1955-1975
Cubic Ft.: 10.65
Title: Water Resources Committee Records
Dates: 1951-1955
Cubic Ft.: 1.25
Title: Willamette River Basin Commission Records
Dates: 1930-1956
Cubic Ft.: 3.75