Any experience with Irrigation Districts? - Posted by Jay(OR)

Posted by BTI on July 26, 2007 at 10:32:29:


I’m very familiar with Grants Pass, I have a younger brother living there, and one of my grandmothers lived there for several years including the flood of 1964 when the Rogue River was up to the 2nd floor of the buildings downtown.

From what you said I would still check things out, it sounds like you may be paying more than your fair share as most likely your lot was part of a bigger parcel once and the rest of that parcel may still be liable and not just you because your lot is on the canal. Maybe save you a lot of money if it turns out to be so. Not familiar with that canal, where does it start and where does it go?


Any experience with Irrigation Districts? - Posted by Jay(OR)

Posted by Jay(OR) on July 24, 2007 at 19:03:05:

We bought a house that is in an area that has irrigation running through it. It is very inconsistent and expensive.

We have no use for it, and do not plan on using it. Does anyone have experience with fighting paying an irrigation district bill? I’d love to stiff the bureaucrats.

Has anyone else ever not paid a bill that is forced on you like this one? It’s not like cable that you can just turn off if you don’t use it. You don’t use it, you still pay. The bill is as much as I pay for homeowners insurance.

Let me know, thanks, Jay(OR)

Re: Any experience with Irrigation Districts? - Posted by BTI

Posted by BTI on July 25, 2007 at 08:51:12:


Listen to Mark, do a little research on the Irrigation District. Depending on the district and how it is set up you can sell your rights, either that or use your share of the water to keep your driveway and street very clean.

I bought one place where the individual properties owned shares, when the district was set up it was farm area, but the part close to town was now houses.

Downstream was now still orchards and farms and many of those owners needed more water (water use was metered) to expand their operations and were looking for shares to buy they just didn’t know of any for sale, made money and got rid of a annual expense.

In another district the users at the end were using the shares of water belonging to the people upstream that weren’t using it and the the people upstream got an attorney and a settlement for the value of their water that was being swiped.

Just saying do a little research, water rights law is a very complex area of law. I was going to develop an area once but it needed a steady supply of water. I found that water 20 miles away, and discovered under state law, land owners between my land and the water supply had to allow me to lay pipes across their land if I started my own legal water company.

Never had to do it because the local water company that wasn’t servicing the area decided to add the area to their service area, so I let the idea drop which later I realized was a mistake because there was so much more adjacent land that I’m sure I could have acquired and developed, or at least could have ended up owning a profitable water company, and the time was right for the area to blossom with tons of expensive homes.

Point is someone, somewhere, probably wants that water, or is using your water, and should pay for it. I doubt the rules allow anyone to use as much water as they want, or the people at the end of the canal would have been lucky to get a trickle in the early years, check it out.


Re: Any experience with Irrigation Districts? - Posted by StevenS(CPA)

Posted by StevenS(CPA) on July 24, 2007 at 21:15:45:

You are in a tough situation. You might have to get a lawyer involved, but for the most part you seem to be stuck. Go to your local planning zone board meeting and see if there is someone you can talk to there about your problem. But by all means pay the bill you do not want to fight city hall on this one with one hand tied behind your back. If you try to stiff them you may not get your way with them when you need their help.

Hope this helps.

Re: Any experience with Irrigation Districts? - Posted by Mark Or

Posted by Mark Or on July 24, 2007 at 21:48:36:

That’s an interesting take. I have a ditch that runs behind my home (on my property), and it doubles my property’s value. Where I live, irrigation rights are highly valuable and sought after. If I wanted to, I could (and maybe you could) sell my (your) rights to another property owner. I would never have to pay another irrigation bill, but my dry property would not be worth much, This may be a half full glass for you.

Re: Any experience with Irrigation Districts? - Posted by Mark Or

Posted by Mark Or on July 24, 2007 at 21:50:34:

I just noticed you’re in Oregon. What part?? Maybe I’ll buy your rights!!

Re: Any experience with Irrigation Districts? - Posted by Jay(OR)

Posted by Jay(OR) on July 25, 2007 at 16:40:16:

Hi Mark, I live in Grants Pass. The reason it likely has no value here is because I live on a .3 acre lot with very little of a backyard to use the irrigation water. It’s not like I live on 10 acres of farmland. The house is in a culdesac neighborhood.