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S.B. 51

             1     

WATER RIGHT TRANSFER AMENDMENTS

             2     
2001 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Sponsor: Leonard M. Blackham

             5      This act modifies the Water and Irrigation Code to allow an owner of shares of stock in a
             6      mutual water corporation to apply for a change in the point of diversion, place of use, or
             7      purpose of use of the water represented by the shares of stock.
             8      This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
             9      AMENDS:
             10          73-3-3, as last amended by Chapter 208, Laws of Utah 1992
             11      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             12          Section 1. Section 73-3-3 is amended to read:
             13           73-3-3. Permanent or temporary changes in point of diversion, place of use, or
             14      purpose of use.
             15          (1) For purposes of this section:
             16          (a) "Permanent changes" means changes for an indefinite length of time with an intent to
             17      relinquish the original point of diversion, place of use, or purpose of use.
             18          (b) "Person entitled to the use of water" means:
             19          (i) the owner of a water right evidenced by:
             20          (A) a decree;
             21          (B) a certificate of appropriation;
             22          (C) a diligence claim to the use of surface or underground water;
             23          (D) a water user's claim filed in general determination proceedings; or
             24          (E) an approved application to appropriate water; or
             25          (ii) the owner of a share of stock, or other evidence of ownership, that entitles the person
             26      to a proportionate share of water of a water corporation.
             27          [(b)] (c) "Temporary changes" means changes for fixed periods not exceeding one year.


             28          (2) (a) Any person entitled to the use of water may make permanent or temporary changes
             29      in the:
             30          (i) point of diversion;
             31          (ii) place of use; or
             32          (iii) purpose of use for which the water was originally appropriated.
             33          (b) A change may not be made if it impairs any vested right without just compensation.
             34          (3) Both permanent and temporary changes of point of diversion, place of use, or purpose
             35      of use of water, including water involved in general adjudication or other suits, shall be made in
             36      the manner provided in this section.
             37          (4) (a) A change may not be made unless the change application is approved by the state
             38      engineer.
             39          (b) Applications shall be made upon forms furnished by the state engineer and shall set
             40      forth:
             41          (i) the name of the applicant;
             42          (ii) a description of the water right;
             43          (iii) the quantity of water;
             44          (iv) the stream or source;
             45          (v) the point on the stream or source where the water is diverted;
             46          (vi) the point to which it is proposed to change the diversion of the water;
             47          (vii) the place, purpose, and extent of the present use;
             48          (viii) the place, purpose, and extent of the proposed use; and
             49          (ix) any other information that the state engineer requires.
             50          (5) (a) The state engineer shall follow the same procedures, and the rights and duties of
             51      the applicants with respect to applications for permanent changes of point of diversion, place of
             52      use, or purpose of use shall be the same, as provided in this title for applications to appropriate
             53      water.
             54          (b) The state engineer may, in connection with applications for permanent change
             55      involving only a change in point of diversion of 660 feet or less, waive the necessity for publishing
             56      a notice of application.
             57          (6) (a) The state engineer shall investigate all temporary change applications.
             58          (b) If the state engineer finds that the temporary change will not impair any vested rights


             59      of others, he shall issue an order authorizing the change.
             60          (c) If the state engineer finds that the change sought might impair vested rights, before
             61      authorizing the change, he shall give notice of the application to any person whose rights may be
             62      affected by the change.
             63          (d) Before making an investigation or giving notice, the state engineer may require the
             64      applicant to deposit a sum of money sufficient to pay the expenses of the investigation and
             65      publication of notice.
             66          (7) (a) The state engineer may not reject applications for either permanent or temporary
             67      changes for the sole reason that the change would impair the vested rights of others.
             68          (b) If otherwise proper, permanent or temporary changes may be approved for part of the
             69      water involved or upon the condition that conflicting rights are acquired.
             70          (8) (a) Any person holding an approved application for the appropriation of water may
             71      either permanently or temporarily change the point of diversion, place of use, or purpose of use.
             72          (b) A change of an approved application does not:
             73          (i) affect the priority of the original application; or
             74          (ii) extend the time period within which the construction of work is to begin or be
             75      completed.
             76          (9) Any person who changes or who attempts to change a point of diversion, place of use,
             77      or purpose of use, either permanently or temporarily, without first applying to the state engineer
             78      in the manner provided in this section:
             79          (a) obtains no right; and
             80          (b) is guilty of a class B misdemeanor, each day of the unlawful change constituting a
             81      separate offense, separately punishable.
             82          (10) (a) This section does not apply to the replacement of an existing well by a new well
             83      drilled within a radius of 150 feet from the point of diversion of the existing well.
             84          (b) Any replacement well must be drilled in accordance with the requirements of Section
             85      73-3-28 .
             86          (11) (a) In accordance with the requirements of this section, the Division of Wildlife
             87      Resources or Division of Parks and Recreation may file applications for permanent or temporary
             88      changes for the purpose of providing water for instream flows, within a designated section of a
             89      natural stream channel or altered natural stream channel, necessary within the state of Utah for:


             90          (i) the propagation of fish;
             91          (ii) public recreation; or
             92          (iii) the reasonable preservation or enhancement of the natural stream environment.
             93          (b) Applications may be filed for changes on:
             94          (i) perfected water rights presently owned by the respective division;
             95          (ii) perfected water rights purchased by the respective division for the purpose of providing
             96      water for instream flows, through funding provided for that purpose by legislative appropriation
             97      or acquired by lease, agreement, gift, exchange, or contribution; or
             98          (iii) appurtenant water rights acquired with the acquisition of real property by either
             99      division.
             100          (c) A physical structure or physical diversion from the stream is not required to implement
             101      a change for instream flow use.
             102          (d) this Subsection (11) does not allow enlargement of the water right sought to be
             103      changed nor may the change impair any vested water right.
             104          (e) In addition to the other requirements of this section, an application filed by either
             105      division shall:
             106          (i) set forth the legal description of the points on the stream between which the necessary
             107      instream flows will be provided by the change; and
             108          (ii) include appropriate studies, reports, or other information required by the state engineer
             109      that demonstrate the necessity for the instream flows in the specified section of the stream and the
             110      projected benefits to the public that will result from the change.
             111          (f) The Division of Wildlife Resources and Division of Parks and Recreation may:
             112          (i) purchase water rights for the purposes provided in Subsection (11)(a) only with funds
             113      specifically appropriated by the Legislature for water rights purchases; or
             114          (ii) accept a donated water right without legislative approval.
             115          (g) this Subsection (11) does not authorize either division to:
             116          (i) appropriate unappropriated water under Section 73-3-2 for the purpose of providing
             117      instream flows; or
             118          (ii) acquire water rights by eminent domain for instream flows or for any other purpose.
             119          (h) this Subsection (11) applies only to change applications filed on or after April 28,
             120      1986.


             121          (12) (a) Sixty days before the date on which proof of change for instream flows under
             122      Subsection (11) is due, the state engineer shall notify the applicant by registered mail of the date
             123      when proof of change is due.
             124          (b) Before the date when proof of change is due, the applicant must either:
             125          (i) file a verified statement with the state engineer that the instream flow uses have been
             126      perfected, which shall set forth:
             127          (A) the legal description of the points on the natural stream channel or altered natural
             128      stream channel between which the necessary instream flows have been provided;
             129          (B) detailed measurements of the flow of water in second feet changed;
             130          (C) the period of use; and
             131          (D) any additional information required by the state engineer; or
             132          (ii) apply for a further extension of time as provided for in Section 73-3-12 .
             133          (c) Upon approval of the verified statement required under Subsection (12)(b)(i), the state
             134      engineer shall issue a certificate of change for instream flow use.
             135          (13) If the state engineer approves a permanent or temporary change in the point of
             136      diversion, place of use, or purpose of use of water represented by a share of stock in a mutual water
             137      corporation, the mutual water corporation may, pursuant to its articles of incorporation or bylaws,
             138      impose conditions on the change which are necessary to prevent:
             139          (a) increased costs to the corporation; or
             140          (b) interference with the corporation's ability to manage and distribute the water supply
             141      for the benefit of all its shareholders.




Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-10-01 9:49 AM


A limited legal review of this legislation raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel


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