Instream Lease Program

The Instream Lease Program is a cooperative effort between COID, The Deschutes River Conservancy, and Oregon Water Resources Department. The program allows water rights to be temporarily leased back to the Deschutes River in exchange for a designation of beneficial use.

Nuts and Bolts

An Instream Lease allows patrons to lease all or a portion of the water right, in lieu of irrigating, for a one or three-year period. At the conclusion of the lease the water reverts back to the property in good standing for the next five years.


  • There are no additional fees to our patrons for this program. The DRC foots the bill for all associated costs; maps, applications, etc..

Guaranteed Beneficial Use:

  • Little to no modification of your current irrigation system. In most cases patrons can continue watering the unleased portions without much alteration to their practices
  • The leased water helps our river. Each year COID patrons lease about 1400 acre back to the river. This water improves water quality and habitat for fish and wildlife.


  • The water right must be in good standing to participate. Water to be leased must have been used beneficially in the past five years.
  • The water is committed for the full irrigation season. Once leased, the water is unavailable for use on the land until the following irrigation season.
  • If the lease interferes with the operation of a ditch or canal your request may be denied.

Some examples of who might benefit from the program:

  • Patrons with water rights in jeopardy of district confiscation
  • New owners not quite ready to begin irrigating
  • Absentee owners/Investors needing to protect water rights
  • Patrons in any situation that would prevent them from irrigating in accordance with State regulations