Water Resources Department Records Guide

Agency History - Introduction

The State of Oregon has been involved in developing and managing the state's water resources since the nineteenth century, although the Water Resources Department in its present form was not created until 1975. A variety of offices, boards, and commissions have been created and abolished since the management of water resources was first rationally addressed by the state in 1905. Major agency restructuring efforts occurred in 1955, 1975, and 1985.

The Water Resources Department is charged with managing public water in Oregon. Oregon Revised Statutes define this to include all surface and groundwater. A primary goal of the department is to protect existing water use while assuring enough water in rivers, lakes, and streams to support fish, wildlife, general water quality, and recreational needs. To further this, the department promotes water conservation and coordinates planning activities with governments from the local to federal level as well as with citizen groups. It also collects and manages information about streamflows, water rights, and other topics for public use.

Delta On to historical narrative

State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310

Phone: 503-373-0701 • Fax: 503-378-4118 • reference.archives@state.or.us