The DRC's Groundwater Mitigation Bank creates temporary credits through instream leases.
Clients purchase these credits annually to mitigate for their water use. They can also purchase permanent credits through private brokers or the Deschutes Water Alliance Water Bank. Here is a comparison of temporary and permanent credits (PDF). This document is intended to help new water users understand their options.
If you're building a single family home in Deschutes, Jefferson, or Crook County, you may be able to drill a well without going through Oregon's Deschutes Groundwater Mitigation Program (Oregon State flyer PDF). If you are going to use water for more than just your home domestic use and a 0.5 acre or smaller yard and garden, you might be fine. If you plan to have a nursery, sell any type of crop or irrigate more than 0.5 acres – you will likely be subject to the mitigation program and you should always check with the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) (application process PDF). If you are required to mitigate, you will need to acquire mitigation credits, receive your groundwater permit from the OWRD and satisfy other conditions before you can use your water (step-by-step PDF). These credits mitigate the effects of new water use on streamflow in the lower Deschutes River.We project that increased groundwater use will consume one half of one percent of the total water available in the Deschutes Basin in twenty-five years. We expect mitigation to restore up to twice that much water to the Deschutes River and tributaries.
If you are interested in purchasing temporary mitigation credits, please email Gen Hubert or call at (541) 382-4077, ext. 16.