Restoring water in the Little Applegate River

by WaterWatch of Oregon

WaterWatch is pleased to announce that this project was recently successfully completed!

On August 12th, the Oregon Water Resources Department signed and entered final orders approving multiple instream water right transfers on the Little Applegate River in the Rogue River Basin. WaterWatch was critical to moving these transactions to completion.

Now 5.4 cfs of flow is protected to the mouth of the Little Applegate River. More than half of this water has the oldest priority date on the Little Applegate. The water will provide and reestablish connectivity between the Little Applegate and the Applegate allowing Rogue Basin salmon and steelhead to reach and use prime habitat on the Little Applegate even in times of extreme drought. Thank you very much to the generous donors who contributed to this project through Global Giving. Seventeen donors contributed over $5,000 to help bring this project to a successful conclusion.  Also, thank you very much to the Kenney Brothers Foundation and the Brainerd Foundation for supporting this project in its initial stages.


On May 26, 2011 OWRD made a preliminary determination approving the instream transfers.  That means everything is done pending a notice period.  The transfers will become final on July 27, 2011 unless someone protests, which
is highly unlikely. We have likely incurred the last of the expenses we have for this project by paying for the publication of the notice.

We can safely say the following:  

1.   The transfer of 5.4 cfs of water by 14 landowners to an instream water right in the Little Applegate River was approved by the Oregon Water Resources Department on May 26, 2011.

2.   Pending a waiting period the transfers will become final on July 27, 2011.

3.   When final, this will permanently protect 5.4 cfs of flow to the mouth of the river, providing benefits to salmon and water quality.

We are very very close to finalizing this project!  Thank you for your on-going support!


WaterWatch has entered into conservation agreements with the affected landowners who have the important water rights on the Little Applegate River. WaterWatch assisted in the preparation of the water right applications for the stored water and helped submit the completed paperwork to the Oregon Water Resources Department (WRD). Once WRD approves those applications, the instream water rights will be processed and finalized.  Bob Hunter, WaterWatch's senior staff attorney, is currently negotiating with WRD on the language for the instream transfer orders to ensure the water remains instream permanently.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded WaterWatch $1,500 towards the completion of the Little Applegate River Dam Removal project. This funding will be applied to the dam removal expenses. The Little Applegate River is a tributary to the Rogue River in southern Oregon. The ultimate project goal is removal of the obsolete irrigation dam, and securing the oldest water rights on the river and permanently re-directing this block of water back into the river during the low-flow periods of the year.


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Organization Information

WaterWatch of Oregon

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Justin Loveland
Portland, Oregon United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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